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Re: caml-light licence question.

On Thu, May 15, 2003 at 03:15:35AM -0400, Don Armstrong wrote:
> On Thu, 15 May 2003, Sven Luther wrote:
> > On Wed, May 14, 2003 at 12:42:43PM -0400, Don Armstrong wrote:
> >> On Wed, 14 May 2003, Sven Luther wrote:
> >>> Distribution of derivative works obtained by modifying the sofware or
> >>> integrating it in another software is allowed only if the
> >>> distribution consists of the unmodified, original source files for
> >>> the software, along with difference files (patches) to be applied by
> >>> the user of the derivative work.
> >> 
> >> As you've already pointed out, this prohibits us from distributing
> >> modified binaries, and fails DFSG #3 and #4.
> > 
> > Would adding a "and is allowed to distribute binaries resulting from
> > building this patched source" be enough to make it free ?
> I think that whole paragraph needs to be re-written, as the
> distribution of modified binaries seems to conflict with the "is
> allowed only if... unmodified original source files" phrase. I'm not
> quite sure exactly what they would prefer to see as far as source code
> and modification availability (and if they want copyleft, it would
> basically be the same conditions as the GPL v2.)

I think back in those days (the caml-light/ocaml fork was in 1995 or so,
and the ocaml licence change was in 1999) they were most worried about :

  1) people taking their code, making some minor modifications and
     releasing it as their own. INRIA is a research body, and
     recognition is important to them.

  2) people applying random patches distributing the binaries without
     clearly telling about the patches, and users sending unreproducible
     bugreports caused by these patches.

But again, ocaml is the live branch, caml-light has stalled since then
and is only still used because it was adopted by the french ingenieur's
school for the exams, and there is all the written material and such.

So my opinion would be that there should be no problem in modifying that
licence, but then, i have not yet heard back from upstream.

> > since it is upstream who has come to me asking about packaging this,
> > they should make the effort of changing the licence, i think. 
> Good luck with that. Feel free to refer them to -legal if they need
> clarification, and thanks for veing diligent about the licensing.

Ok, no problem, it is funny that this surface again, i am sure there is
a lot of good argumentation about this in the 1999 or so mailing list
archive too, since that was the date of ocaml licence change, in which
we were involved.


Sven Luther

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