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

Re: Unfortunate Licence Mix

<posted & mailed>

Joachim Breitner wrote:

> Hi,
> I was just about to package "psybnc"[1], a popular irc bouncer.
> A closer look into the src/ dir revealed that the author seems to have
> followed the Free Software spirit by not re-inventing a lot of wheels,
> but didn't pay close attention to legal stuff...
> His own works are GPLed, and have correct copyright notes. But there are
> two files that worry me:
> snprintf.c:
<snip complicated license statement>

> And the second file, bsd-setenv.c:
<snip 4-clause BSD>

> If I payed attention, both of these contain the "bad" advertising clause
> that make them incompatible with the GPL, and thus the psybnc
> distribution impossible. Is that right?

> Is it also right that finding re-licenced versions of bsd-setenv.c
> (without the Advertising Clause) would solve the problem for this file?

> Or can I just re-licence the file myself, since BSD officially changed
> the licence for all their works (or something)?
Well, Berkeley's relicensing statement is here:

As long as the file is a "BSD Unix" file or part of the "Berkeley Software
Distribution", it seems to be relicensed.  You can determine whether it is
by looking at *BSD for the file; I'd guess, offhand, that it is.

The Apache team has been trying to switch to a GPL compatible license.  It's
likely that you can find a relicensed version of the original Apache
snprintf.c file under the Apache License 2.0, but unfortunately it's not
clear yet whether that's GPL-compatible; eventually some version of the
Apache license should be though.

Given what this Apache-licensed file actually is, I'd suggest finding a
GPL-compatibly-licensed snprintf implementation and tweaking it to behave
like the one in psybnc (which appears to simply *remove* functionality).

There are none so blind as those who will not see.

Reply to: