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Re: Ada Community License - DFSG

Mahesh T. Pai wrote:

> Arvind Autar said on Sat, Mar 06, 2004 at 09:41:36PM +0100,:
>  > > library is licensed under the Ada Community License. I already found
>  > > a thread which talks about whether it's allowed or not.
>  > 
>  > That thread is not clear to me.
> The Ada Community License, taken from:-
> Seems to contradict  itself in some aspects, and  vague in others. Tha
> thread seems  inconclusive. Walter Landry  started off thinking  it is
> DFSG free, but later agreed that some ambiguities are there.

I'm unsure whether it's DFSG-free -- but it's certainly poorly drafted.
Perhaps the author could be asked what he meant and why he isn't using the
Clarified Artistic License?

> <beginquote>
>                          The Ada Community License
>                       Copyright(C) 1997 David G. Weller
>           Permission to redistribute in unmodified form is granted,
>                          all other rights reserved.
This appears to contradict the license below.  But I'll assume it doesn't
for now...

>             This is a modification of the Perl Artistic License,
>                           (c)1989-1991, Larry Wall
>         ------------------------------------------------------------
>                                   Preamble
>            The intent of this document is to state the conditions
>           under which the Ada library may be copied, such that the
>             Copyright Holder maintains some semblance of artistic
>           control over its development, while giving Ada users the
>               right to use and distribute the Ada library in a
>            more-or-less customary fashion, plus the right to make
>                           reasonable modifications.
>                                 Definitions:
>                               Refers to the collection of Ada
>                               source files distributed by the
>               "Library"       Copyright Holder, and derivatives of
>                               that collection of files created
>                               through textual modification.
>                               Refers to such a library if it has
>           "Standard Version"  not been modified, or has been
>                               modified as specified below.
>           "Copyright Holder"  Is whoever is named in the copyright
>                               or copyrights for the Ada library.
>                 "You"         Is you, if you're thinking about
>                               copying or distributing this library.
>                               Is whatever you can justify on the
>                               basis of media cost, duplication
>                               charges, time of people involved, and
>          "Reasonable Copying  so on. (You will not be required to
>                  Fee"         justify it to the Copyright Holder,
>                               but only to the computing community
>                               at large as a market that must bear
>                               the fee.)
>                               Means that no fee is charged for the
>                               item itself, though there may be fees
>           "Freely Available"  involved in handling the item. It
>                               also means that recipients of the
>                               item may redistribute it under the
>                               same conditions they received it.
>                                  Provisions:
>          1  You may make and give away verbatim copies of the
>             source form of the Standard Version of this Ada library
>             without restriction, provided that you duplicate all of
>             the original copyright notices and associated
>             disclaimers.
That's fine.

>          2  You may apply bug fixes, portability fixes and other
>             modifications derived from the Public Domain or from
>             the Copyright Holder. A library modified in such a way
>             shall still be considered the Standard Version.
The difference from the Clarified Artistic License is that this does *not*
include modifications which are "Freely Available".  In other words, any
modifications you make must be given to the public domain in order for this
clause to apply to modified versions.

Is that an acceptable requirement?  I think it actually may be an acceptable
requirement, and so it may be DFSG-free under this clause -- provided it is
possible to assign works to the public domain in your jurisdiction.  :-P

>          3  You may otherwise modify your copy of this Ada library
>             in any way, provided that you insert a prominent notice
>             in each changed file stating how and when you changed
>             that file, and provided that you do at least ONE of the
>             following:
>          a) Place your modifications in the Public Domain or
>             otherwise make them Freely Available, such as by
>             posting said modifications to Usenet or an equivalent
>             medium, or placing the modifications on a major archive
>             site such as The Public Ada Library, or by allowing the
>             Copyright Holder to include your modifications in the
>             Standard Version of the Ada library.
This is basically the same as the Clarified Artistic License.
This is annoyingly self-contradictory, however, because "Freely Available"
is defined above, but then a *different* definition of "Freely Available"
is given in this paragraph.  I think this is DFSG-free if the *first*
definition of "Freely Available" is controlling, but not if the *second*
definition is controlling.  The question is whether this is a
forced-distribution clause.  (Sigh.  I welcome other opinions on this

>          b) Use the modified Ada library only within your
>             corporation or organization.
Not useful for Debian.

>          c) Rename any non-standard executables so the names do not
>             conflict with standard executables, which must also be
>             provided, and provide a separate manual page for each
>             non-standard executable that clearly documents how it
>             differs from the Standard Version.
Basically the same as the Clarified Artistic License.  The "which must also
be provided" clause is quite a restriction and so this clause is not really
useful for Debian.

>          d) Make other distribution arrangements with the Copyright
>             Holder.
Not useful for Debian unless we do so.  ;-)

I've snipped the rest because it all seems fine and is pretty much the same
as the Clarified Artistic License.

Nathanael Nerode  <neroden at gcc.gnu.org>
US citizens: if you're considering voting for Bush, look at these first:
http://www.misleader.org/  http://www.cbc.ca/news/background/arar/

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