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Re: Is the Smithsonian Institution Copyright License DFSG-Free?



On Wed, 9 Nov 2005 16:54:58 -0500 Daniel Kahn Gillmor wrote:

[...]
> Hello good people--

Hi!  :)

> 
> I'm considering ITP'ing CIAO [0], but before i look into it further, i
> wanted to get this community's advice on its freeness.

Good.

[...]
> The only other debian reference to this license i've been able to turn
> up is in Steve McIntyre's report on netpbm licensing [3], which refers
> to it as "A variation on the BSD license".

Full text of the license is pasted below, for future reference:

/*****************************************************************/
/* Copyrights:                                                   */
/*                                                               */
/* Copyright (c) 1999 2003 Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory */
/*                                                               */
/* Permission to use, copy, modify, distribute, and  sell  this  */
/* software  and  its  documentation  for any purpose is hereby  */
/* granted without  fee,  provided  that  the  above  copyright  */
/* notice  appear  in  all  copies and that both that copyright  */
/* notice and this permission notice appear in supporting docu-  */
/* mentation,  and  that  the  name  of the  Smithsonian Astro-  */
/* physical Observatory not be used in advertising or publicity  */
/* pertaining to distribution of the software without specific,  */
/* written  prior  permission.   The Smithsonian  Astrophysical  */
/* Observatory makes no representations about  the  suitability  */
/* of  this  software for any purpose.  It is provided  "as is"  */
/* without express or implied warranty.                          */
/* THE  SMITHSONIAN  ASTROPHYSICAL  OBSERVATORY  DISCLAIMS  ALL  */
/* WARRANTIES  WITH  REGARD  TO  THIS  SOFTWARE,  INCLUDING ALL  */
/* IMPLIED  WARRANTIES  OF  MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS, IN  NO  */
/* EVENT SHALL THE  SMITHSONIAN  ASTROPHYSICAL  OBSERVATORY  BE  */
/* LIABLE FOR  ANY SPECIAL, INDIRECT  OR  CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES  */
/* OR ANY DAMAGES WHATSOEVER RESULTING FROM LOSS  OF USE,  DATA  */
/* OR  PROFITS, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, NEGLIGENCE OR  */
/* OTHER TORTIOUS ACTION, ARISING OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION  WITH  */
/* THE  USE OR PERFORMANCE OF THIS SOFTWARE.                     */
/*                                                               */
/*****************************************************************/

It actually seems like a mix of Expat and 3-clause-BSD licenses.
I think it's DFSG-free and GPL-compatible.

> 
> I haven't done a full code audit yet to ensure that all the relevant
> source is in fact under the SIC, but if the SIC itself is considered
> non-free, that would be a huge blocker for me.

If nobody disagrees with my analysis, you can begin the full code audit,
I would say...

> 
> Thanks for the great work you all do keeping debian on the right
> track.

Happy to help.


-- 
    :-(   This Universe is buggy! Where's the Creator's BTS?   ;-)
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  Francesco Poli                             GnuPG Key ID = DD6DFCF4
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