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Re: Swiss Ephemeris Public License

On Fri, 10 Oct 2003, Henning Makholm wrote:
> However, clause 3(b) worries me a bit:
> >      b. If modifications to the SE are released under this
> >      license, a non-exclusive right is granted to the holder of the
> >      copyright of the unmodified SE to distribute your
> >      modification in future versions of the SE provided such
> >      versions remain available under these terms in addition to any
> >      other license.
> I recall that we recently discussed whether such clauses are
> sufficiently discriminating to fail the implicit "with no
> consideration to the author" test of the DFSG. It eludes me what we
> concluded, however.

I had originally read this as just a no-op modifications must be
released under the same license as the SE. However, on closer reading
it seems that I was wrong. It really does look like an unrestricted
non-exclusive license to sell, relicense, etc. the modifications
released under the license. [Kind of like a license requiring FSF's
copyright signover request.]

I agree with Henning and Branden that this section is not DFSG free.

>> This license file and the copyright notices in the source files are
>> the only places where the author's names may legally appear without
>> specific prior written permission.
> Hm - I wonder whether, if this is enforceable at all, it can be
> interpreted literally enough to allow the upstream author to be
> identified in the debian/copyright file, as required by policy.

I sort of ignored this clause because it seemed to be restricting
things that really be restricted. If they want such a clause, the
should probably look at the final clause of the BSD license (the
endorsement clause.)

Don Armstrong

"A one-question geek test. If you get the joke, you're a geek: Seen on
a California license plate on a VW Beetle: 'FEATURE'..."
 -- Joshua D. Wachs - Natural Intelligence, Inc.


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