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SUN RPC code is DFSG-free



Hello,

> This explanation is unsatisfactory. I think that the Sun RPC code is
> non-free, and I want an opinion from debian-legal.

The Sun RPC code is DFSG-free, and has been for eons. This bug is, again,
closed with this message. Addressing particular concerns raised:

> >                                                  that this legend is
> >           included on all tape media and as a part of the software
>             ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
> That seems worse than the advertising clause.

If it were referring to all tape media everywhere, perhaps it would
be. That's not a reasonable interpretation, however. If it limited it
to being written on the casing of the tape media, rather than encoded
on the media itself, perhaps it would be too, but it doesn't.

> Isn't this whole thing incompatible with the (L)GPL anyway? The code
> in question has been highly modified and integrated into the glibc
> source tree, presumably with the modifications under the LGPL,

It's not appropriate to presume so as to make things illegal. If there's
a valid interpretation that makes things legal, then that should be
the default. Only if there are no such valid interpretations, or if the
copyright holder states their interpretation, is it appropriate to worry
about this.

> I'm personally concerned about this particular phrase, as it seems to
> preclude Debian from distributing software with Sun RPC in it unless
> Debian itself is developing the product or program using Sun RPC.

Which we are, viz "The Debian Distribution".

> A distributes a program developed by A based on Sun RPC to B.
> B cannot turn around distribute the program to C unless they repackage
> it as a product or program developed by B.

This isn't the case: A may "license or distribute it to anyone [..] as part
of a product or program developed by [A]", and thus may provide a license to
all comers, including C.

> Sun has repeatedly clarified elsewhere that the intent of this is
> essentially "MIT/X11, except you may not distribute this product
> alone."

Not being able to distribute the original Sun RPC code alone is not a
problem, so long as we're able to distribute any variants of it that
we may actually want. If you're really concerned about other possible
caveats, please feel free to contact Sun to work on getting a clarified
license. However as it stands, the license passes the DFSG at least as
well as, eg, the Artistic license does.

Cheers,
aj

-- 
Anthony Towns <aj@humbug.org.au> <http://azure.humbug.org.au/~aj/>
I don't speak for anyone save myself. GPG signed mail preferred.

       ``Is this some kind of psych test?
                      Am I getting paid for this?''

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