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Re: Xbae widget license



On Tue, Mar 04, 2003 at 08:46:49PM +0100, Joop Stakenborg wrote:
> One of my applications (twlog) uses this widget in a new version and
> before asking a RFP or packaging it myself, I want to make sure the
> license is okay. Here it is:
> 
> -------------------------------------------------------------------
> #
> # $Date: 1999/09/02 23:18:06 $
> # $Id: COPYING,v 1.2 1999/09/02 23:18:06 danny Exp $
>  
> Copyright (c) 1991, 1992 Bell Communications Research, Inc. (Bellcore)
> Copyright (c) 1995-99 Andrew Lister
> All Rights Reserved.
>  
>  
> Permission  to use, copy, modify  and distribute this material for any
> purpose and  without  fee is  hereby granted,  provided that the above
> copyright notices and this permission notice appear in all copies, and
> that the name  of any author  not be used  in advertising or publicity
> pertaining  to  this material   without  the specific,  prior  written
> permission of an  authorized  representative of Bellcore  and  current
> maintainer.
> 
> BELLCORE AND OTHER CONTRIBUTORS MAKE  NO REPRESENTATIONS AND EXTEND NO
> WARRANTIES, EXPRESS   OR  IMPLIED, WITH  RESPECT  TO  THE INFORMATION,
> INCLUDING, BUT    NOT    LIMITED  TO,  THE   IMPLIED   WARRANTIES   OF
> MERCHANTABILITY  AND FITNESS FOR  ANY   PARTICULAR  PURPOSE, AND   THE
> WARRANTY     AGAINST INFRINGEMENT OF    PATENTS  OR OTHER INTELLECTUAL
> PROPERTY RIGHTS. THE  SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED  "AS  IS", AND IN NO  EVENT
> SHALL ANY AUTHOR OR ANY OF THEIR AFFILIATES BE LIABLE FOR ANY DAMAGES,
> INCLUDING ANY  LOST   PROFITS OR  OTHER INCIDENTAL   OR  CONSEQUENTIAL
> DAMAGES RELATING TO THE INFORMATION.
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------

This looks like a typical MIT/X11-style license, which means it also
closely resembles the 3-clause BSD license in its effect.

> The Xbae FAQ at http://xbae.sourceforge.net/FAQ.html explains this
> license as follows:
> 
> - Nobody promises that this software works.
> - You can use this software for whatever you want.
> - You may not pretend that you wrote this software.

I'm with them so far.

> - If you use it in a commercial program, you have to acknowledge that
> you've used the Xbae code in your documentation and include the
> copyright notice in the LICENSE file of the distribution being used.

I don't see that as following from the above.  The license makes no
mention of the licensing or purpose of programs that use it; there is no
mention of "commercial programs" or special conditions that attach when
this code is used with "commercial programs".

> I am a bit worried about the line: 'that the name of any author not be
> used in advertising or publicity bla bla'.

That's not a problem.  Individual publicity rights are typically not
granted with copyright licenses (indeed, they fall outside the scope of
copyright altogether).  As I understand it, such a clause is not even
necessary, and would not be governed by copyright law if it came to
court.

> Do you think this license looks reasonable?

It might be wise to get a clarification on that "commercial program"
business.  The traditional interpretation of these license terms is
easily DFSG-free, but if the Xbae folks interpret it non-traditionally,
we need to understand how.

-- 
G. Branden Robinson                |     Organized religion is a sham and a
Debian GNU/Linux                   |     crutch for weak-minded people who
branden@debian.org                 |     need strength in numbers.
http://people.debian.org/~branden/ |     -- Jesse Ventura

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