[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: Debian Legal summary of the X-Oz License

[M-F-T set to selussos and debian-legal.]

On Tue, Mar 02, 2004 at 11:04:35AM -0500, selussos wrote:
> Sorry for the noise but I was unsure if I needed to subscribe or not.
> Someone kindly let me know that my post got through so I think it's
> better I just reply as needed.  If you think that this is burdensome I
> will subscribe if  that is preferred.
> I am responding to this list, since a concerned free software
> enthusiast has told me that several concerns about our license have
> been raised here.  I really did not know of this as I, nor any other
> X-Ozzie,  had been contacted previous to that first contact about any
> of these concerns.
> If someone would like us to comment on the X-Oz license issues, I will
> gladly do so.  Please let me know what the pertinent issues are, as
> you see it, and hopefully I will be able to allay your concerns.
> Thank you again for your concern and interest.

Hi Sue,

Thank you for contacting us.

As summarized by Simon Law, we have concerns with two clauses in the
X-Oz License.

>        3. The end-user documentation included with the redistribution, if
>           any, must include the following acknowledgment:
>             "This product includes software developed by X-Oz Technologies
>              (http://www.x-oz.com/)."
>           Alternately, this acknowledgment may appear in the software itself,
>           if and wherever such third-party acknowledgments normally appear.

We find this statement to be a bit confusing.  Here are some questions
that may make it less so for us.

1) Can this clause be satisfied simply by including the license text in
end-user documentation, since the license text includes verbatim the
required acknowledgement?

2) Is there an objective set of characteristics that distinguish
"end-user" documentation from any other kind of documentation?

3) If the answer to 2) is "no", or you if you are unable to think of
any, would you strike the term "end-user" from the license text, and
apply the amended license to all of the code copyrighted by X-Oz
Technologies, Inc.  that is currently in public circulation?

4) Is it the position of X-Oz Technologies, Inc., that this clause is
binding upon the licensee even if end-user documentation included with
the redistribution neither contains, nor is derived from, work
copyrighted by X-Oz Technologies, Inc., and licensed under these terms?

[ For example, if I am distributing Vim, the text editor, as well as its
user manual, on a CD-ROM to someone, and include the source code to the
XFree86 X server from the XFree86 CVS trunk as of November 2003 on that
same CD-ROM as a convenience, am I required to modify the Vim
documentation to include the statement "This product includes software
developed by X-Oz Technologies (http://www.x-oz.com/)."? ]

5) If the answer to 4) is "yes", am I relieved of the obligation of this
clause of the license if the only end-user documentation I am
distributing is not copyrighted by me, and I have no license from the
copyright holder to modify that documentation?

>        4. Except as contained in this notice, the name of X-Oz Technologies
>           shall not be used in advertising or otherwise to promote the sale,
>           use or other dealings in this Software without prior written
>           authorization from X-Oz Technologies.

We have some concerns about this clause as well.

6) What does "or otherwise" mean?  It would seem to include all forms of
communication other than advertising (examples include magazine reviews,
blog postings, and so forth).

7) What does "or other dealings" mean?  It would seem to include all
activities that can be promoted other than sale or use (examples include
charitable donations of copies of the software, or the "cooking" of a
CD-ROM with a copy of the software encoded on it in a microwave oven).

8) As far as the participants on the debian-legal mailing list are
aware, there is no jurisdiction in the world in which a right to use the
name of a copyright holder for promotional purposes automatically
attaches to any copyright license, no matter how liberal its terms.  Can
you tell us why X-Oz Technology, Inc., feels this clause is necessary?

Thank you very much for your time, and for shedding light on these

G. Branden Robinson                |    It was a typical net.exercise -- a
Debian GNU/Linux                   |    screaming mob pounding on a greasy
branden@debian.org                 |    spot on the pavement, where used to
http://people.debian.org/~branden/ |    lie the carcass of a dead horse.

Attachment: signature.asc
Description: Digital signature

Reply to: