Re: [Linux-support] License Conflict in slmodem-2.9.5
Thanks for so promptly reporting.
> There is a license conflict that technically prohibits the
> distribution of your software. Most of your code contains a
> non-copyleft but permissive license. However, modem_at.c carries a
> GPL license.
> This in itself is not a huge problem. Your license is substantially
> similar to other licenses that the FSF says are GPL compatible (e.g.
> the ZPL or the Cryptix General License).
> The inclusion of the GPL licensed file triggers the requirements of
> section 2b of the GPL, which requires that the entire work be GPL'd.
> As I said before your license is compatible with the GPL so this on a
> cursory review wouldn't be a problem.
> However, you do not include source for the dsplibs.o or the amrlibs.o
> file. This conflicts with section 3 of the GPL that requires the
> source code be made available.
Yes, conflict is obvious (of course IANAL).
> Solutions to the problem are as follows:
> 1) License all files under the GPL and include source for the two
> object files.
> 2) Change the license on modem_at.c. How you do this depends upon to
> what degree you own the copyright to this code.
> a) You have complete copyright to the code and remove the GPL
> replacing it with your existing license. Alternatively, you
> could dual license (i.e. say you can use either your license or
> the GPL). Both of these are essentially the same as your license
> is GPL compatible anyway.
> b) You do not have complete copyright and adapted the code from a
> source. In which case you are violating that persons copyright
> as you are not including any copyright indicating that. I
> suspect due to the lack of the copyright notice for something
> like that that this isn't the case. However, if it is you would
> need to get the permission to relicense the code under your
> license or rewrite the code from scratch.
> I believe this conflict is relatively easy to resolve. I anticipate
> you can do 2a and continue on.
As fast fix I am going to replace modem_at.c file header - 2a.
> I'm also CC'ing debian-legal on this as they distribute your code in
> the sl-modem-daemon package. The package is currently in non-free.
> Doing 1 would result in it being able to move to free (unless someone
> else sees another problem). However, until 2 is done I'd suspect
> Debian is going to have to remove the package.
> Additionally, there are other files (kernel-ver.c, all the files in
> patches and scripts) which do not contain any license at all.
> Appropriate copyright notices should be added to them. The debian
> startup script appears to have been contributed by a 3rd party so
> you'd need to contact that individual to get the appropriate copyright
At the moment all 'scripts' directory content was contributed by users
and included (then included) AS IS. Those files are not part of
SmartLink product, redistribution is permitted by contributors.
> And the ALSA patches would need to be GPL licensed in order
> to be applied and used.
I don't see any problem here. This patch consists one new GPL licensed
file, and modifications of GPL licensed files(ALSA drivers) - those
modifications becomes GPL by default.
Also the patch itself becomes obsolete since ICH based modem support was
included in ALSA main tree.
> It may be useful to include a COPYING file
> that applies your license to any file that doesn't say otherwise
> within its contents.
Agree. Thanks for suggestion.
> If you have any questions about this please let me know. I'll be more
> than happy to spend some time with you explaining the problems and
> working with you to reach a resolution to this licensing problem.
Thanks and Best Regards,
Sasha. ('slmodem-2.9.x' maintainer).
> Ben Reser <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> "Conscience is the inner voice which warns us somebody may be
> looking."- H.L. Mencken