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Is BSD+ DFSG compliant? (Was Re: Is javacc DFSG compliant?)

Kaare Hviid wrote:
Package: javacc
Version: 3.2+0-1
Severity: wishlist

I'm not a Debian developer, I'm not in any way a legal expert, nor am I
on the debian-legal list, but I found this odd, and a clarification
might be due.

The javacc (3.2+0-1 from main of sid) "LICENSE" reads:

    You acknowledge that  this software is not designed, licensed or
    intended for use in the design, construction, operation or
    maintenance of any nuclear facility.

Since javacc is not _licensed_ for operation in a nuclear facility,
wouldn't that be in violation of clause 6 of the DFSG:

    The license must not restrict anyone from making use of the program
    in a specific field of endeavor. For example, it may not restrict
    the program from being used in a business, or from being used for
    genetic research.

It's the "licensed" part that I wonder about.  That you should
acknowledge that the software isn't "designed" or "intended" for use in
a nuclear facility is probably not in violation of the DFSG, since it
doesn't explicitly forbid such usage.  However, it's not "licensed" for
such usage.

(No, I'm not in any way affiliated with any nuclear facility - that's
not the issue.)

I think that's simply a case of Sun's legal department adding unnecessary confusion to their licenses, making them contradict Sun's intentions. I interpret it in the way you do, too. I doubt Sun's legal depratment intended it to be interpreted in that way :)

Sun seems to refer to the license as BSD+, and licenses their BSD-ish code under it (java3d examples, and similar stuff). There is a thread on http://www.mail-archive.com/fonts@xfree86.org/msg00400.html discussing it in the context of XFreee86. I've CC:ed the Sun developer who's been involved in questions surrounding BSD+, for comments if that interpretation from Sun's legal department is still valid, and who from Sun's legal department made it on behalf of Sun.

Note that you're likely to find more source code licensed under this 'BSD+' license according to google. According to http://mail.gnome.org/archives/gnome-print-list/2004-June/msg00029.html Sun's also eventually relicensed some of their BSD+ code under less ambiguous license terms. They've also done the same for (some of ?) the freedesktop.org code that Sun contributed according to http://freedesktop.org/pipermail/stsf-commit/2004-July/000088.html . So maybe the same could be done for javacc and other Sun-owned software that's licensed under 'BSD+'.

dalibor topic

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