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Re: OpenLDAP Licenseing issues

Hi Howard,

On Fri, May 23, 2003 at 07:26:06PM -0700, Howard Chu wrote:
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: owner-openldap-devel@OpenLDAP.org
> > [mailto:owner-openldap-devel@OpenLDAP.org]On Behalf Of Stephen Frost
> > Of those 15 licenses there are a few questions when it comes to GPL
> > interaction.  In the UoC license (Regents of the University of
> > California Berkley) there is the infamous 'advertising clause'.  The
> > Regents have however, from my understanding, retroactively
> > removed that
> > clause from all of their licenses, at the request of the FSF.
> >  In the HC
> > (Howard Chu) and PM (Pierangelo Masarati) there is 'should' do this
> > and a 'should' do that.  If those are to be interpreted as 'must' then
> > they conflict with the GPL.  'should', however, can also be
> > interpreted
> > as a request, in which case there isn't a conflict.

> For the licenses that I have explicitly used, clauses (2) and (3) both
> include a "must" before the "should." The main point is that the origin of
> the software MUST NOT be misrepresented, either by explicit claim or by
> omission. If you can address the omission responsibility without providing
> credit in your documentation, you're welcome to do so, though I find it hard
> to imagine how this might be possible without having annoying credits listed
> at runtime on every execution...

As I understand it, the "must" requirement of your license is entirely
GPL-compatible, as the GPL also stipulates that one may not misrepresent
the origin of the work.  The problem arises if we understand your
license to require a specific interpretation of "misrepresentation by
omission".  If your "should" can be understood as a recommendation
rather than a binding requirement, and you are willing to leave the
final determination of "misrepresentation by omission" to the courts, I
see no reason why this license couldn't be regarded as GPL-compatible.

Please note that Debian is more than happy to respect your wishes
regarding acknowledgement so long as we're distributing your code; the
issue only comes up because the GPL imposes contradictory requirements
that could prevent us from shipping LDAP-enabled binaries of many GPL

Steve Langasek
postmodern programmer

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