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Re: RPSL and DFSG-compliance

Brian Thomas Sniffen <bts@alum.mit.edu> wrote:

> It becomes even more intense in 2.1e:
> (e) if You Deploy Covered Code in object code, executable form only,
>     You must include a prominent notice, in the code itself as well as
>     in related documentation, stating that Source Code of the Covered
>     Code is available under the terms of this License with information
>     on how and where to obtain such Source Code. You must also include
>     the Object Code Notice set forth in Exhibit A in the "about" box
>     or other appropriate place where other copyright notices are
>     placed, including any packaging materials.
> That's a very clear restriction on use.  And I suspect that Real isn't
> willing to compromise on that; if so, please let us know.

All that requires is that the copyright notice be included alongside the
binary. It also only applies if you don't distribute the source. Since
there's no requirement to follow it, I don't see how it can be an issue.

> RPSL 3 is also problematic: the grant in 3b is far broader than the
> license Real grants with the software, which violates DFSG 3 -- it's
> not the same license under which I received the software.

People seem willing to argue that the GPL may provide an implicit patent
license. All 3b does is allow Real to actually make use of your
modifications. Sending GPLed modifications of a different program back
upstream could be argued to require the same grant, even if it's not
directly in the license.

> RPSL 12.6 requires a fee for distribution, violating DFSG 1.

I'm fairly certain that there isn't clear consensus on this.

> So.  That's quite a list.  And while it's great for us if Real fixes
> the little DFSG-incompatibilities, 2.1d and 2.1e are the real big
> problems.  Can you say anything about those which might convince me
> and others that they're Free?

2.1e appears harmless. 2.1d is evidently where we're going to disagree.

Matthew Garrett | mjg59-chiark.mail.debian.legal@srcf.ucam.org

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