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Re: sql-ledger may belong in non-free

On Monday 04 April 2005 04:12 am, Glenn Maynard wrote:
> On Mon, Apr 04, 2005 at 03:35:10AM -0500, Warren Turkal wrote:
> If you wish to be copied on replies to Debian lists, please set your
> Mail-Followup-To header to indicate this, instead of asking everyone
> else to adjust headers manually.  :)

Hopefully, it is on now.

> The text in question (for archival and quoting purposes) is:
> "The GPL license allows you to extend SQL-Ledger and distribute the
> "Larger Work". This does NOT mean, that you can remove or alter the
> copyright, nor remove or alter the SQL-Ledger logo. You must give the
> "Larger Work" a different name, but must include "Powered by SQL-Ledger"
> in the product name or subtitle. (e.g. XYZ Accounting, Powered by
> SQL-Ledger). In addition, you need to acknowledge the SQL-Ledger
> trademark and copyright ("SQL-Ledger ™ is a registered trademark of DWS
> Systems Inc. Copyright © DWS Systems Inc. All rights reserved.").
> If you do not want to display the SQL-Ledger logo, the "powered by", or
> the trademark and copyright notice, you need to obtain explicit
> permission from DWS."
> You're correct; this text has no connection to the GPL, which says no
> such things; it's just a collection of false statements.  This puts the
> software in an uncertain state: on one hand, they're giving permissions
> (the GPL), and on the other, they're saying you don't have them.  Either
> this page is not legally binding, and we do have the permissions of the
> GPL, or it is, and they're being contradictory (in which case the work
> is probably not safe to distribute at all).
> Of course, Debian both tends to take the safe option in this type
> situation, as well as tries to honor the author's desires as closely as
> possible; both of these imply that Debian shouldn't be distributing this
> software.

I wholly agree with this result. Should a bug be filed with a link to this 

> As an aside, in this type of case, I have a hard time figuring out what
> these people were thinking.  One speculation is that they wanted to use
> some third- party GPL code, but also want to apply those restrictions.  (In
> that case, they're probably violating the GPL.)  Another would be that they
> want the publicity from releasing under the GPL, but don't actually want to
> release under the GPL.  Finally, they might just be confused, and actually
> believe the GPL says what they say it does, though I'd have a hard time
> believing that.

I think that they wanna get their name attached to open source but still 
monopolize the service value adds. Check out the other provisions on that 
page like you can't register a domain with sql-ledger in it unless you link 
to http://www.sql-ledger.com/ and have the logo on it. What if I wanna make a 
website like sql-ledger-sucks.com in which I make a list of reasons I don't 
like it and have a version of the logo that is modified to incorporate that 
idea. I think that they are trying to prevent negative publicity like that.

> (Also curious: their trademark license requires acknowledgement of a
> copyright; "SQL-Ledger ™ is a trademark of DWS Systems Inc. Copyright © DWS
> Systems Inc. All rights reserved.", even for uses of the trademark
> independent of any copyrighted work.  Huh?)

> You might try to convince them to fix up their licensing, but I'd have no
> idea where to start.  :)  Somebody else on this list might have some ideas;
> alternatively, you could ask the FSF for help--I'd expect that reducing
> incorrect, confusing claims about what the GPL means is something they'd
> be very interested in.

I am not interested in pursuing it with them. I was reading lwn.net and looked 
at their website and noticed this info. I think it should definitely be 
removed from Sarge unless this is resolved.

Warren Turkal
Consultant, Penguin Techs

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