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Re: licensing of cephes library (affects labplot, grace, ?...)

Helen Faulkner <helen_ml_faulkner@yahoo.co.uk> writes:

>    Some software in this archive may be from the book Methods and Programs
>    for Mathematical Functions (Prentice-Hall, 1989) or from the Cephes
>    Mathematical Library, a commercial product. In either event, it is
>    copyrighted by the author.  What you see here may be used freely
>    but it comes with no support or guarantee.
> This is all the licensing that seems to be around for cephes, and it
> does not seem to be DFSG-free as it stands, because it doesn't
> specifically allow modification and redistribution.

Indeed, that's non-free.

> 1) if the labplot and grace upstreams put the proposed boilerplate
> into the cephes files in their distributions of labplot and grace,
> could Debian package and distribute labplot and grace with those
> cephes libraries included?

Yes, assuming some free license is interpolated in the obvious place.
This licenses them under the "standard BSD license".  Anybody who
doesn't like the author's version is welcome to get them from Debian
instead, of course.

> 2) if the labplot or grace upstream were taking a long time to do
> this, would it be OK to put the boilerplate into the Debian
> distributions of those cephes libraries in the meantime, as a quick
> fix to make labplot and grace actually distributable?

Only if you replace the labplot or grace cephes excerpts with cephes
excerpts actually distributed with that boilerplate.  If the labplot
or grace authors have patched cephes for their products, you may have
to port those patches over.


Brian Sniffen                                       bts@alum.mit.edu

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