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Re: New CUPS license violates DFSG 6?

Scripsit Santiago Vila <sanvila@unex.es>

> >      Software that is developed by any person or entity for an Apple
> >      Operating System ("Apple OS-Developed Software"), including but not
> >      limited to Apple and third party printer drivers, filters, and
> >      backends for an Apple Operating System, that is linked to the CUPS
> >      imaging library or based on any sample filters or backends provided
> >      with CUPS shall not be considered to be a derivative work or
> >      collective work based on the CUPS program and is exempt from the
> >      mandatory source code release clauses of the GNU GPL.

> I agree that a license may exempt certain parties from some requirements,
> but not to the point of saying something which clearly is a derivative
> work is not (so I would say the wording should be improved here).

What they say is that "we (the upstream authors) promise to refrain
from claiming a copyright for ourselves on these kinds of derivations".
That is fine, and harms nobody.

Not that it does *not say* "if you add something to CUPS you may not
claim copyright for Apple software that is derived from your
additions". If they said that I'd say it bordered on being non-free
but that is not the case.

In the scenario

  1. The upstream authors U create the original software C
  2. I derive B from C.
  3. Apple derives A from B.

the upshot of the clause would be that upstream won't consider A to be
a derived work from C. However I'll still be free to consider A to be
a derived work from B (in which I have a legal copyright interest) and
so insist that Apple follow the unamended GPL terms when they copy
derivates of my code.

> This means if we mix CUPS code under the new GPL+exception license and
> ordinary GPL code, the result may only be distributed under the
> unmodified GPL or not distributed at all,


> which means you can't send CUPS maintainers a GPLed patch anymore...

Actually one can. But upstream cannot *use* that patch without also
leaving their Apple exception. Which is not Debian's problem. If the
case arises in practise (i.e. that some popular enhancement is only
available as a GPL-only patch), that just means that the project has
effectively forked, and Debian will have to chose which of the
branches we'll continue distributing.

Henning Makholm      "Guldnålen er hvis man har en *bror* som er *datalog*."

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