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

Re: Bug#227159: ocaml: Worse, the QPL is not DFSG-free

On Jul 9, 2004, at 11:14 AM, Sven Luther wrote:

On Fri, Jul 09, 2004 at 05:54:05AM -0400, Brian T. Sniffen wrote:
Package: ocaml
Version: 3.07.2a-2
Followup-For: Bug #227159

The compilers are also distributed under the QPL, which is

And ? What is the problem ? Even RMS and the FSF is not claiming that
the QPL is non-free, just that it is incompatible with the GPL, but
since it is not linked with GPLed code, this is no problem.

The problem comes from these three clauses:

      3b. When modifications to the Software are released under this
      license, a non-exclusive royalty-free right is granted to the
      initial developer of the Software to distribute your
      modification in future versions of the Software provided such
      versions remain available under these terms in addition to any
      other license(s) of the initial developer.

      6b. You must explicitly license all recipients of your items to
      use and re-distribute original and modified versions of the
      items in both machine-executable and source code forms. The
      recipients must be able to do so without any charges whatsoever,
      and they must be able to re-distribute to anyone they choose.

      6c. If the items are not available to the general public, and the
      initial developer of the Software requests a copy of the items,
      then you must supply one.

That is, I owe two fees to the initial developer of the software. First, I give him a license to distribute my modifications in future versions of the software, and to use that code in non-free derivatives of the software. Second, if he asks for it I also supply a copy even if I have not distributed them to anyone. This is a fee as described by DFSG #1.

Additionally, 6b requires that I license my modifications to others under a *more* permissive license than the QPL. Those to whom I give my items (presumably meaning my modifications) must be licensed to distribute modified copies without charge, and the QPL imposes a charge. Since I can't distribute my modifications under the same terms as the license of the original software, this also fails DFSG #3.

On the other hand, perhaps my understanding of the DFSG is flawed. I've CC'd this to debian-legal, in the hopes that they can clarify.

Also notice that RMS himself participated in the discussion about the
ocaml licence and approved it.

The ocaml license does meet the FSF's four freedoms, but I do not think it meets the DFSG.

The emacs files is another issue, and upstream was receptive to it, i
just have to follow up on this to make them act or something.

On the other hand, the new INRIA license looks awfully promising -- mostly because of its GPL upgrade clause. Perhaps you can just get


Brian T. Sniffen                                        bts@alum.mit.edu

Reply to: