Re: Aspell-en's questionable license
I've been discussing this with the FSF's outside counsel, Dan Ravicher.
I have some ideas for how to generate a new word-list if we do end up
needing one, but I don't want to discuss them until I've talked with a
lawyer. I'll probably get some sort of final answer with Dan tomorrow
at the GPL Compliance Lab conference call.
On Tue, 2002-11-05 at 00:49, Brian Nelson wrote:
> It has come to the attention of debian-legal that the aspell-en package
> is licensed under questionable terms. In particular, aspell-en uses the
> "DEC Word List," which contains the following notice:
> (NON-)COPYRIGHT STATUS
> To the best of my knowledge, all the files I used to build these
> wordlists were available for public distribution and use, at least
> for non-commercial purposes. I have confirmed this assumption with
> the authors of the lists, whenever they were known.
> Therefore, it is safe to assume that the wordlists in this package
> can also be freely copied, distributed, modified, and used for
> personal, educational, and research purposes. (Use of these files in
> commercial products may require written permission from DEC and/or
> the authors of the original lists.)
> Naturally, this violates the following clause of the Debian Free
> Software Guidelines:
> No Discrimination Against Fields of Endeavor
> The license must not restrict anyone from making use of the program in
> a specific field of endeavor. For example, it may not restrict the
> program from being used in a business, or from being used for genetic
> The GNU/Aspell maintainer, Kevin Atkinson, has stated that you reviewed
> and accepted this license as suitable for use with the GNU/Aspell
> project. On behalf of debian-legal, I would like to ask if you could
> clarify your position regarding the terms of the aspell-en license, and
> in particular, the DEC Word List "license".
> Debian's current stance was nicely summarized by Jeff Licquia in this
> Thank you for your time,
> People said I was dumb, but I proved them!
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