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Re: summary of software licenses in non-free

[ I've taken the liberty of cc'ing debian-legal, where license issues are discussed. -legal readers probably want to drop -vote. Reply-to set. ]

On Jan 10, 2004, at 02:57, Craig Sanders wrote:

x3270 seems to be free. IMO, maintainer is overly cautious about

I just read the copyright file in x3270 and either this is free, or we can't distribute it at all, even in non-free.

     Copyright © 1989 by Georgia Tech Research Corporation, Atlanta, GA
     All Rights Reserved. GTRC hereby grants public use of this
     software. Derivative works based on this software must incorporate
     this copyright notice.

Strictly speaking, this does not appear to give permission to distribute the software.

The fonts copyright (if it's even valid, bitmap fonts can't be copyrighted in the US) is fine, AFAICT.

The copyright notice for the 5250 emulation just reads:

     5250 Emulation Code Copyright © Minolta (Schweiz) AG, Beat

This is worrying, as no license appears to be granted. I'd need to check the source code to be sure.

Either this package should be removed (because we can't distribute it at all) or put in main, IMO.

edict           seems like it may be free. long & complicated license.

Several problems I see:

 b. must undertake not to assert copyright over any portion of the

(Prohibits me from enforcing my copyrights, if the edict happens to misappropriate my work.)

    c. may use the file for personal purposes such as to assist with
       reading texts, research, translation services, etc.

(This appears to disallow non-personal use, such as commercial use. However, it must be a no-op because commercial use is explicitly permitted at the end...)

    i. must either make every endeavour to ensure that the versions of
       the files they distribute are the most recent available, or must
       make the version and date clear and prominent in their
       documentation, WWW page, etc. and supply information as to where
       and how the most recent version may be obtained.

Blech. We might be able to argue that we make the version and date prominent, and thus fall under that exception. Otherwise, time to file a bug on ftp.d.o for removal.

   k. may use these files as part of, or in association with a software
package or system. Full acknowledgement of the source of the files
       must be made both in the promotional material, WWW pages and
       software documentation,

Aren't we using these files as part of or in association with a system, namely Debian GNU/Linux? If so, time for removal.

   Any individual or organization in possession of copies of the files,
   upon becoming aware that a possible copyright infringement may be
   present in the files, must undertake to contact the Group immediately
   with details of the possible infringement.

This probably fails the desert island test.

   All permissions for use of the files granted by James William Breen
   prior to March 2000 will be honoured and maintained, however the
   placing of the KANJD212 and EDICTH files under the GNU GPL has been
   withdrawn as of 25 March 2000.

This simply put doesn't make sense. It's not clear how you can un-GPL a work, but they seem to claim to while at the same time saying they're not.

   With regard to the Frequency codes, Mr Halpern has stated as follows:
   "The commercial utilization of the frequency numbers is prohibited
   without written permission from Jack Halpern. Use by individuals and
   small groups for reference and research purposes is permitted, on
   condition that acknowledgement of the source and this notice are

Obviously non-free, and probably very silly (see Feist) in the U.S. at least.

edict-fpw       part GPL, part same as edict.

This appears to belong in contrib, not non-free. It sounds like it is essentially an installer which functions by transforming the non-free edict.

mmix-src part GPL. part Donald Knuth license - modified files must be renamed and clearly identified. why is this in non-free?

There have been very long arguments on -legal about 'must rename source files' on -legal.

One reason: Can we modify the files, then distribute binaries produced from modified sources? I'm not sure; Knuth's licenses are notoriously unclear...

mocka BSD-style license with noxious advertising clause. why is this
                in non-free?

No idea.

molphy very simple license says it is "free software". fails to have
                an explicit clause allowing modification. clarification
would be good, but IMO there is no compelling reason why
                this can't go in main.

Because copyright law says we can't create derivative works unless the copyright holder says we can, and he hasn't.

This is a great candidate for contacting upstream to get it freed.

mwavem says license is GPL. why is this in non-free? does it contain
                binary-only driver or something??

No idea. Either the copyright file is wrong (serious bug) or this belongs in contrib or main.

sgb modified files must be renamed and clearly identified. why is this in

The renaming problem.

sl-modem-daemon looks like BSD-style license with noxious advertising clause.
                why is this in non-free?

No, this is the new BSD license without the clause. No idea why it is in non-free.

sl-modem-source looks like BSD-style license with noxious advertising clause.
                why is this in non-free?

No idea... And, btw, the source in /usr/src seems to include .o files, someone file a bug...

[ Legal: We should probably go over the rest of the list, it seems that there are some packages in non-free which are illegal to distribute... ]

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