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Re: Is this software really GPL?

[I'm taking the liberty of Cc:'ing you against Debian list
policy. Please set MFT in the future if you wish people to respond to
you personally.]

On Tue, 19 Oct 2004, Anthony W. Youngman wrote:
> Sorry if this is not quite the right place, but I'm somewhat fuming ...
> There's a really nice piece of software, called QM (it's a database)
> that has allegedly been released under the GPL by its owner, one
> Martin Philips, of a company called Ladybridge, in England.
> He was talked into doing this by a company called EasyCo, based in
> the States.
> I joined the mailing list, and then there was a post saying that
> some of the code was invariant. When I said that the GPL said I
> could change it, Martin said that if I tried he would set the
> lawyers on me! (And no, I'm not fuming at Martin - I get the
> impression he's been duped :-(

Hrm. Sounds like you should ask him if he really intends for the code
to be placed under the GPL, and suggest that he read:


especially the preamble of the latter. If he or his lawyers have
specific questions, they should ask licensing@gnu.org.

> <quote>
> I strongly suggest that you read the following two web pages:
>      http://easyco.com/initiative/openqm/opensource/index.htm
> and the accompanying faq:
>      http://easyco.com/initiative/openqm/opensource/faq.htm
> </quote>

Yeah, those webpages are basically indicate that they haven't read the
GPL and don't understand what it means at all. Unfortunatly, since the
copyright holder appears to not have even licensed his code properly,
and a case could be made that those are additional restrictions on top
of the GPL, your only recourse is to try to get them to actually
license the code under the GPL, full stop.

If not, strongly suggest that they not misconstrue their program as
being licensed under the GPL, and perhaps put the FSF in touch with
them so that they get an idea that what they are doing is bad.
> Oh - and the guy I'm dealing with said he would be absolutely
> delighted if someone could get Debian to distribute this package!

Heh. Until they clean up their licensing mess, there's no way we can
distribute it. I'd even be wary of using this program at all based on
the questionable assumptions upstream seems to be making.

Don Armstrong

Of course Pacman didn't influence us as kids. If it did, we'd be
running around in darkened rooms, popping pills and listening to
repetitive music.

http://www.donarmstrong.com http://rzlab.ucr.edu

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