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Re: VisualBoyAdvance license

On Thu, Apr 24, 2003 at 09:29:14PM +0000, andy.grafham@ntlworld.com wrote:

>From the license:

> Permission to use, copy and distribute VisualBoyAdvance in binary form, for
> non-commercial purposes, is hereby granted without fee, providing that this
> license information and copyright notice appear with all copies. See the
> COPYING file for the GNU Public License that also affects this program.

These conditions directly contradict the GNU General Public License,
which is presumably the one they mean.  So the big question is, in
what way does it "affect" the program?  Do they mean that this
program is dual-licensed, under both the GPL and this paragraph?
In that case the program is free software and it can go into Debian.

Or do they mean that *both* licenses must be satisfied?  In that
case the license statement is contradictory, because the GPL
doesn't allow imposing a "non-commercial purposes" requirement.
We can't distribute that software at all.

I think this paragraph makes the dual-license possibility unlikely:

> VisualBoyAdvance is freeware for PERSONAL USE only. Commercial users should
> seek permission of the copyright holders first.

I downloaded their source[1] and poked around in it looking for copyright
statements.  Most of the files have "Copyrigh(c) 1999-2002 Forgotten
(vb@emuhq.com)" and a GPL license blurb.  This makes it somewhat strange
that there's a completely different license in COPYRIGHT.TXT with the
same name on it.

[1] http://belnet.dl.sourceforge.net/sourceforge/vba/VisualBoyAdvance-1.5-src.tar.gz

My best guess of the situation is that this "Forgotten" person put
his code under the GPL without realizing that this conflicted with
the Snes9x license that was on the code he was adding to.
Files like src/tvmode.cpp have both the Forgotten GPL blurb and
the incompatible Snes9x license at the top.

More disturbing is the file src/win32/wavwrite.cpp, which has the
GPL blurb followed by this:

// File: WavWrite.cpp
// Desc: Wave file support for loading and playing Wave files using DirectSound 
//       buffers.
// Copyright (c) 1999 Microsoft Corp. All rights reserved.

I think we shouldn't get anywhere NEAR this package until it's had
a careful license review.

Richard Braakman

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