[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: JpGraph License Question [From the author]

Scripsit Branden Robinson <branden@debian.org>

> as a person who does not feel that the QPL
> is DFSG-free, I should offer my clarfication of the above.

For the record, and for the benefit of the JpGraph author, I should
probably state that after having closely read Branden's objections
to the QPL, I have come to think that at least one of them have merit.

The problem, phrased in the context of JpGraph, is that if I download
the free version and make some cool patches to it available on my
website, the language in QPL 3b says that I *must* allow the upstream
author to take my patch and apply it to the "professional" version
that he sells under a non-free license.

We believe [1] that a free software license should not force people
who modify free software to allow their modifications to be used in
non-free software.

[1] That means: I believe so, and my informed guess is that the
    consensus on debian-legal would agree with me.

This means that the best advice to the JpGraph author would be to
consider switching to the GPL. The most significant difference (beyond
those needed for DFSG-freedom) is that the patch clause will go away,
but after we've dismissed the QPL I don't think there are any
well-known free licenses with patch clauses left. (Of course there is
always the dangerous possibility of cook-your-own-license, but that is
not to be recommended).

Henning Makholm       "It was intended to compile from some approximation to
                 the M-notation, but the M-notation was never fully defined,
                because representing LISP functions by LISP lists became the
 dominant programming language when the interpreter later became available."

Reply to: