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Re: Question on wxWindows packages

Hi Roberto Sanchez,

> I came across the following while reading the wxWindows documentation
> (from the wxwin2.4-doc package):
> We also acknowledge the author of XFIG, the excellent Unix drawing tool,
> from the source of which we have borrowed some spline drawing code. His
> copyright is included below.
> XFig2.1 is copyright (c) 1985 by Supoj Sutanthavibul. Permission to use,
> copy, modify, distribute, and sell this software and its documentation
> for any purpose is hereby granted without fee, provided that the above
> copyright notice appear in all copies and that both that copyright
> notice and this permission notice appear in supporting documentation,
> and that the name of M.I.T. not be used in advertising or publicity
> pertaining to distribution of the software without specific, written
> prior permission. M.I.T. makes no representations about the suitability
> of this software for any purpose. It is provided "as is'' without
> express or implied warranty.
> This text can be found at the following URL after apt-get'ing
> wxwin2.4-doc:
> file:///usr/share/doc/wxwin2.4-doc/wxWindows-manual.html/wxwin9.htm#topic6
> It is my understanding that requirement to preserve the copyright notice
> and persmission notice are something from a BSD-type license.  Is this
> compatible with the GPL?  Does this apply to only the documentation
> package or also to the others (since the code would be in the library
> and development packages)?
> I am pretty sure that all or most of the wxwindows packages are in the
> main part of the repository.  Do they belong in nonfree or contrib
> because of this?
> I apologize if this has been asked before or if I am off base, but I am
> still learning my way around Debian.
Roberto, this is a standard permissive MIT/BSD-style licence that has no
advertising clause and is GPL compatible. The ambiguity in the "without
fee" section is frequently misinterpreted (it means you can do everything
listed without payment of any fee to the licensor). For this reason it's
best left as an historical licence and not used for new software projects.
The OSI calls it the "Historical Permission Notice and Disclaimer":

The GPL-incompatible BSD advertising clause is different from a copyright
notice appearing in the supporting documentation. You can read about the
advertising clause here: <http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/bsd.html>.

Welcome to Debian.


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