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Re: Geant4 Software License, version 1.0

Kevin B. McCarty <kmccarty@Princeton.EDU>
> I would be interested to hear your opinions on the Geant4 Software 
> License, version 1.0 [1]. [...]
> [1] http://geant4.web.cern.ch/geant4/license/LICENSE.html

I think it is clearly GPL-incompatible (as you noted) for reasons
similar to the old BSD licence and it might not follow the DFSG because
of clauses 4 (automatic donation to upstream), clause 8 (no right to
dispute unauthorised inclusion of your code) and maybe 5 (discrimination
against fields of use) below.

Why won't they use something like the BSDish "EU Datagrid Licence"?
(Disclaimer: name from memory, unchecked on -legal as far as I recall.)

> The license itself is reproduced below.  It looks like a combination of 
> the X-Oz license plus an anti-patent clause.  Because of that, I think 
> it is not DFSG-free, but if anyone disagrees I'm open to convincing. :-)

A wdiff suggests it is substantially different from the X-Oz licence
and it does not seem to share the super-trademark attempt.  Clause 2
is possibly unclear in a similar way to the X-Oz licence, though
hopefully the drafter is less confrontational than X-Oz.

>   It's also GPL-incompatible, but all of Geant4's dependencies are LGPL, 
> MIT/X, or Zlib licensed so that shouldn't be a problem.  Mostly I'm 
> looking for opinions about (1) whether Geant4 could go into non-free 
> once its dependencies are available in Debian and (2) whether it's safe 
> for unofficial Debian packages to be distributed from a 
> non-Debian-affiliated site in the US.  I don't see an obstacle, but 
> maybe I'm missing something...

(1) I think clause 8 probably makes it unwise to put it in non-free, unless
all distributors of non-free are happy to kiss their copyright controls

(2) I don't see a problem in that.

Commented clauses:
> 2. The user documentation, if any, included with a redistribution, must 
> include the following notice:
> \"This product includes software developed by Members of the Geant4 
> Collaboration ( http://cern.ch/geant4 ).\"
> If that is where third-party acknowledgments normally appear, this 
> acknowledgment must be reproduced in the modified version of this 
> software itself.
> 3. The names \"Geant4Â? and Â?The Geant4 toolkitÂ? may not be used to 
> endorse or promote software, or products derived therefrom, except with 
> prior written permission by license@geant4.org. If this software is 
> redistributed in modified form, the name and reference of the modified 
> version must be clearly distinguishable from that of this software.
> 4. You are under no obligation to provide anyone with any modifications 
> of this software that you may develop, including but not limited to bug 
> fixes, patches, upgrades or other enhancements or derivatives of the 
> features, functionality or performance of this software. However, if you 
> publish or distribute your modifications without contemporaneously 
> requiring users to enter into a separate written license agreement, then 
> you are deemed to have granted all Members and all Copyright Holders of 
> the Geant4 Collaboration a license to your modifications, including 
> modifications protected by any patent owned by you, under the conditions 
> of this license.
> 5. You may not include this software in whole or in part in any patent 
> or patent application in respect of any modification of this software 
> developed by you.
> 8. This license shall terminate with immediate effect and without notice 
> if you fail to comply with any of the terms of this license, or if you 
> institute litigation against any Member or Copyright Holder of the 
> Geant4 Collaboration with regard to this software.

Hope that helps,
My Opinion Only: see http://people.debian.org/~mjr/
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