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Re: JpGraph License Question [From the author]



On Sun, Mar 16, 2003 at 11:04:21PM +0100, Henning Makholm wrote:
> First, you need to decide whether you want to allow internal business
> use under your gratis license option. If not, there's no reason to
> talk more, because your licensing will never be DFSG-free then.
> Otherwise, the next thing to do is to revise the language on your web
> site to reflect that policy.
> 
> Afterwards you should consider taking Edmund's advice and use the GPL
> instead of the QPL. This is not of immediate importance, because we do
> currently consider the QPL a DFSG-free license. However, recently
> there have been suggestions on debian-legal that this was the wrong
> decision, som it is possible that within the nearish future we will
> decide that QPL was never free after all and so start removing
> QPL-licensed software from Debian.

As one of the people who does not recall the Debian Project ever making
an official statement (or even an unofficial declaration) that the QPL
was a DFSG-free license, and as a person who does not feel that the QPL
is DFSG-free, I should offer my clarfication of the above.

We won't necessarily be removing all QPL-licensed software from Debian
even if we do decide that the QPL is DFSG-non-free, because a great deal
-- perhaps even most -- of the QPL-licensed software distributed by
Debian is dual-licensed under the GNU GPL.  This is because the most
prominent piece of QPLed software, the Qt Library from TrollTech AS of
Norway, carries that dual license.  As anyone who's tried to compile Qt
from source knows, it's a large piece of work.  :)

My hypothesis is that so many people equate the QPL with Qt that when
they saw the Qt library move into Debian main, they assumed that the QPL
had been branded DFSG-free.  In fact, the reason Qt was moved into
Debian main was because it became dual-licensed under the GPL, which
removed all ambiguity as to its "DFSG-freeness", since the GNU GPL is
practically universally regarded as a DFSG-free license.

Anyway, I concur with rest of Henning's statement.  I wish you the best
of luck in wrestling with your licensing decisions (seldom a fun
endeavor), and if you have any more questions on this subject that you
think the Debian community can help you with, please don't hesitate to
contact us.

-- 
G. Branden Robinson                |     Reality is what refuses to go away
Debian GNU/Linux                   |     when I stop believing in it.
branden@debian.org                 |     -- Philip K. Dick
http://people.debian.org/~branden/ |

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