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Re: rsaeuro license change?

--On 08 August 2002 11:17 -0400 Brian Ristuccia <brianr@debian.org> wrote:

Thanks for your comments, I will look at these over next few days and see how we can modify the license to allow RSAEuro Internet release to be included with Debian. It will take me a couple of days to work through the various alternatives in order to produce a license that would work out okay.

Mean while if anyone has any further information that could help please let me know.


Stephen Kapp

On Thu, Aug 08, 2002 at 11:30:16AM +0100, RSAEuro General wrote:

--On 08 August 2002 00:18 -0400 Brian Ristuccia <brianr@debian.org>
> [...]

Hi, thanks for your mail. We would be interested in working something
out  to allow the Internet release of RSAEuro to be included with Debian.


I think we could review and amend the license to keep with our
requirements  to maintain our rights and make the license in keeping
with the Debian  movement. Reaper Technologies now handles development
and management of  RSAEuro licensing.

I agree. There are certainly a number of ways you could permit the use of
RSAEuro in Free Software while still preserving your ability to make money
when proprietary software makers sell software containing it.

> [ discussion about mandatory sending of changes upstream omitted ]

This looks relatively straight forward to work around. Bare in mind this
release of RSAEuro part of a more current Commercial product.  We would
like to have RSAEuro distributed with a product such as Debian however
we  would like to maintain some control over 'major' changes that could
reflect  on the commercial product especially compatibility.

So requiring a license grant to all recipients (including you) under the
same license terms everone else gets is probably OK. What's not OK in our
case is the compulsory "send us a copy" term. Note that most folks tend to
send their changes to the upstream maintainer whether it's required or
not. Even if they don't, you're likely to find their modified source on a
web site somewhere and still have a good grant of license on it.

As far as preserving RSAEuro's "image" for potential customers in the face
of potentially degrading modifications, one strategy might be to require
changed versions to carry prominent notice of what was changed and
modified versions which break the API to be called something other than

> [ discussion about commercial exclusions omitted ]

This element is a tricky one however, as we've mentioned RSAEuro is also
a  commercial product, the 1.04 release is often used by licensees as a
initial stepping stone into the commercial product, therefore preventing
them using RSAEuro in commercial applications maintains our business.
Any  assistance on this point would be helpful.

So the real problem with this clause is not that it prohibits using
RSAEuro in non-free, proprietary, binary-only, for-profit type software,
but the way in which it attempts to do so. As far as our Free Software
guidelines go, license terms which differentiate between Free and
non-free software based on distribution terms are generally acceptable
while those which exclude certain fields of endeavor using encompassing
terms such as "for sale," "for profit," or "commercial" are generally
not. Indeed, there are some people who sell Debian on CDROM, and I
suspect a small number of them may actually make a profit via their

You could consider dual licensing the source code under both the GNU GPL
or LGPL and an alternative license. Those who plan to use it in Free
Software probably won't be inconvenienced by the GNU licenses, but those
who want to make proprietary binary-only software would have to contact
you to make arrangements in order to obtain the software under an
alternate license. Of course, in the latter case, Reaper Technologies
would probably make arrangements to collect some money as well.

Also are there any other points that would require looking at?

There's a lot of older crypto type software published under the GNU GPL
which uses RSAref which we can not distribute because of incomatibilities
with the RSAREF license. So it would be of greatest assistance to us if a
version of RSAEuro was licensed under terms compatible with the GNU GPL.
The GNU GPL, LGPL, or MIT X11 style license would all be acceptable in
this respect.


Brian Ristuccia

RSAEuro:      rsaeuro@reapertech.com
RSAEuro Bugs: rsaeuro-bugs@reapertech.com
Tel:          +44 (0) 20 7900 2450
Fax:	      +44 (0) 7050 699951
Http:         http://www.reapertech.com/
RSAEuro - Copyright (c) J.S.A.Kapp & Reaper Technologies 1994-2002.

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