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Re: Advice on DFSG status of this licence



On Tue, Aug 19, 2003 at 10:13:18PM -0400, Brian T. Sniffen wrote:
> Andrew Pollock <apollock@debian.org> writes:
> 
> > Hi,
> >
> > I'm considering packaging up RIPE's whois server, and the closest thing I 
> > can find to a licence in the source tarball is the contents of the COPYING 
> > file, at the end of this message.
> >
> > The only bit I'm unsure of is the last sentence. Does it mean we can't 
> > refer to it as the "RIPE whois server"?
> 
> This looks like a rewritten MIT/X11 license.  Unfortunately, there's
> no grant of permission to distribute modified versions -- usually not
> necessary, but some copyright holders have decided to be silly and
> read "permission to modify and distribute" as different from
> "permission to distribute modifications," most noticeably UW.
> 
> The last sentence just means that "Install Debian GNU/Hurd, with the
> RIPE Whois Server!" shouldn't show up on our posters.  It's verging on
> non-free, violating DFSG 9, but this minor effect has been tolerated
> for authors paranoid of exploitation before.

It's more or less the same as clause #3 of a 3-clause BSD license, as far
as I can see, as well. It doesn't say we can't say what's there, it just
says we can't use the author's name or such as advertising.

The line between "advertisement" and "statement of fact" could well be
blurry, but unless we want to reject a really, really massive number of
otherwise free licenses because we insist on having the right to be so rude
as to put words in someone else's mouth (implied endorsementments, really),
I don't see why this violates DFSG 9.
-- 
Joel Baker <fenton@debian.org>                                        ,''`.
Debian GNU NetBSD/i386 porter                                        : :' :
                                                                     `. `'
				                                       `-

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