Re: [firstname.lastname@example.org: Re: Bug#181969: [email@example.com: Re: JasPer licensing wrt Debian Linux]]
Michael Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> Dear Branden:
> On Wed, 17 Dec 2003, Branden Robinson wrote:
> > > F. This software is for use only in hardware or software products
> > > that are compliant with ISO/IEC 15444-1 (i.e., JPEG-2000 Part 1). No
> > > license or right to this Software is granted for products that do not
> > > comply with ISO/IEC 15444-1. The JPEG-2000 Part 1 standard can be
> > > purchased from the ISO.
> If you are going to quote from the JasPer software license, please
> quote from the current version of the license (and not an obsolete
> version). In the last year, the license has been revised so that the
> above clause only applies to the JPEG-2000 codec in JasPer. In
> particular, the license now reads:
> F. The JPEG-2000 codec implementation included in the JasPer software
> is for use only in hardware or software products that are compliant
> with ISO/IEC 15444-1 (i.e., JPEG-2000 Part 1). No license or right to
> this codec implementation is granted for products that do not comply
> with ISO/IEC 15444-1.
> This is one of the reasons why I object when people claim that JasPer
> is not free software. Only the JPEG-2000 codec module has a usage
> restriction, not the JasPer library proper. I could have released the
> JasPer codec modules separately from the JasPer library, but I simply
> do not have the manpower to do so. (This would require more effort
> for multiple software distributions.) The JasPer software may be
> used FREELY (IN YOUR STRICT SENSE OF THE WORD "FREE") without the
> JPEG-2000 support.
If that is the case, then Debian might distribute the Jasper library
with the JPEG-2000 codec module removed. I don't know if there would
be any point, though.
> > I believe the above will both signal members of the Free Software and
> > Open Source communities that they will need to look elsewhere for
> > software satisfying their licensing requirements, and place the
> > responsibility for the failure to license the reference implementation
> > for general-purpose use where it belongs.
> Although I wish that Debian could also benefit from the use of JasPer,
> I would like to note that many software projects (many of which are
> open source) have not found the compliance clause to be problematic.
I would guess that none of them are trying to improve or specialize
the JPEG-2000 codec.
> This is why I would like to understand better what makes Debian
> different from other projects. Is this simply a religious debate
> (about what constitutes "free")? Perhaps this is not the case, but
> sometimes, if I may be frank, it feels this way.
There are many software projects that have not found complying with
Sun's Java license to be a problem. Debian doesn't call Sun's Java
free software either.
The basic problem is that you have put down artificial limits on what
someone can do with the software. Debian requires a free license to
allow others to do almost anything to the software, including things
that might make the original developer very, very angry. That freedom
has proved quite useful in the past, and Debian is unlikely to bend on
I appreciate that you are trying to work this out, but you really do
have to realize that Debian requires you to basically give up control
on how everyone else will modify your code. All of the software in
the main part of Debian meets this standard.