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Re: Is no-advertising clause GPL-compatible?

On Sun, Aug 11, 2002 at 04:12:05PM -0400, Anthony DeRobertis wrote:
> On Wed, 2002-08-07 at 13:04, Branden Robinson wrote:
> > Historically, this is regarded as a GPL-compatible license.  The
> > GPL-incompatible BSD-style clause is the one that *forces* you to
> > publicize the name of the copyright holder in advertising materials.
> "...provided  that the above  copyright  notice  appear  in  all 
> copies  and  that  both  that copyright  notice and this permission
> notice appear in supporting documentation" appears in that license,
> right before the "can't use name" thing.
> This differs from the OK clause in the BSD license which says that
> notice can be either in the "documentation and/or other materials
> provided with the distribution."
> It's not as bad as the advertising clause for sure, though it would
> require Debian to have it in the supporting documentation. Pretty vague
> what that is, though. (All supporting documentation? At least one peice?
> Is LICENSE in /usr/share/doc/package enough?)

Ouch.  I have to confess I read the original license too quickly, and
was thinking only about the stock 3-clause BSD license, which it does
closely resemble.

I apologize, but this "supporting documentation" clause is a problem,
and violates DFSG 9:

        License Must Not Contaminate Other Software

        The license must not place restrictions on other software that
        is distributed along with the licensed software. For example,
        the license must not insist that all other programs distributed
        on the same medium must be free software.

It is possible for someone to create a wholly original work that
documents another copyright worked.  Reviewers do this all the time; the
fact that they are discussing product X does not mean that the vendors
of product X have any legal claim on the copyright of the review.  Any
attempt to do so is inimical to freedom (this doesn't mean it doesn't
happen; Oracle and recently Microsoft have taken to putting "you can't
review our product without our prior permission" clauses in their

(As another example, consider the many books on software published by

A copyright holder is allowed to insist that his copyright notice and
licensing terms be retained in modified or derivative works.  He is not
allowed to insist that his copyright notice and licensing terms be
placed anywhere else.

Thanks for catching what I missed, Anthony.

G. Branden Robinson                |    Somewhere, there is a .sig so funny
Debian GNU/Linux                   |    that reading it will cause an
branden@debian.org                 |    aneurysm.  This is not that .sig.
http://people.debian.org/~branden/ |

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