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Re: Is this license DFSG-free, part 2 - Word from upstream

Hi Nicolas Kratz,

> Hi again.
> *groan* I have sent upstream a mail, explaining the nonfreeness of the
> software and suggesting to use GPL, BSD or Artistic License. The
> original answer is below. It translates to: Professor phoned author, and
> they say: "It's OK to build on top of our work. Regard the software as
> absolutely freely available. Please keep us updated."
> Now I'm granted either all rights on the software or exactly those I had
> before. My understanding is that "absolutely freely available" has no
> legal meaning, while clearly showing upstreams noble intent, and we're
> back to square one. [ ] Right / [ ] Wrong?
> Or can this be construed as a license, granted to at least me
> personally, if not the whole world, granting me in its broadness the
> right to redistribute my version under a license of my choosing? Or is
> this insufficient wording and/or a grey area in which we don't want to
> venture?

It sounds insufficient (I wouldn't base my work on the software without
further clarification). But the intent appears to be grant a permissive
licence. Thank the author very much and ask whether he or she will clarify
this "absolute" freedom by releasing it under the MIT License:
<http://www.opensource.org/licenses/mit-license.php> (and add this notice
to his or her distribution)

Assuming that works, if you later want to redistribute a work derived from
the software you would be able to redistribute it under a licence of your
choosing because the MIT License permits you to do this. But you can't
completely ignore that the code is derived from code copyright by the
author since the MIT License requires "The above copyright notice and this
permission notice shall be included in all copies or substantial portions
of the Software."

Note that relicensing software under a different licence that you have
merely repackaged is not considered good form.


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