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Re: Sun Developer Network source code license - "

tony mancill writes:

> Dear Debian Legal,
> I'm working on a package that includes a source file from a tutorial on
> the Sun Developer's Network.  The source file is not explicitly
> licensed, so it falls under the catch-all license link [1] that Sun
> publishes at the bottom of all of their pages. [2]
> The license itself seems until it includes this statement:
>    You acknowledge that this software is not designed, licensed or
> intended for use in the design, construction, operation or maintenance
> of any nuclear facility.
> My question is, should this be considered a limitation as per part 6 of
> the DFSG (No Discrimination Against Fields of Endeavor)?  The software
> is dguitar [3], a reader/player application of GuitarPro tablature
> files, so it's quite a stretch to think about it being used in
> conjunction with a nuclear facility (whatever the legal definition of
> that would be).

It does not explicitly prohibit use in those fields, so I see no
problem.  I believe the meaning of "licensed" used there is one
specific to nuclear facilities.  You will sometimes find similar
clauses stating that software is not designed or intended for use
where a person's life or health may be endangered by malfunction.

> The software must already go into contrib because it requires a non-free
> JVM.  Does the upstream author need to state somewhere in his license
> that dguitar was not "designed, licensed, or intended" for use in a
> nuclear facility?  And doesn't that just push it back into non-free anyway?

I believe it is a liability issue for Sun.  Some governments regulate
what software may run in nuclear facilities (for example, [1]), and
the apparent purpose of that clause is to establish that the burden of
proof that the software is appropriate for those uses is on the user.

[1]- http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/reg-guides/power-reactors/active/01-152/

Michael Poole

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