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Re: Licensing problems with appWeb

I felt that it would be better to bring this to debian-legal.  For
reference, this is about AppWeb, http://www.appwebserver.org/.

On Thu, Aug 24, 2006 at 09:52:07AM -0700, mob wrote:
> I wanted to follow up and make sure you received my responses to your email.

I did.  Sorry, I've been deferring this indefinitely.

> > Portions of url.cpp are under Apache's license. There are a few
> > different versions of that license, and it doesn't specify which one,
> > but none are GPL compatible.
> There really is only a couple of lines there. We could rewrite to remove
> that code. Let me think about that and get back to you.

Yes, that would solve that one.

> > The PHP modules in http/modules are licensed under PHP license, which
> > is not GPL compatible. Also, the openssl module will link to the
> > openssl library, which isn't GPL compatible, either. I'm not certain
> > if using dlopen is enough to make openssl a separate work.
> We are using openssl as a library just like any other part of linux so that
> should be fine.

Debian distributes both programs and the libraries that they use, and
they're interpreted as a collective work that would have to be on the
terms of GPL if either libraries or the program were under GPL.  This
doesn't mean that all the libraries and the program would have to be
under GPL itself, just that no part of the whole may prevent from
applying a term in GPL or having a term that wouldn't be in GPL

Also, this would mean that distributing a program under GPL that uses
OpenSSL is ok as long as you don't distribute OpenSSL along with the
program.  But this doesn't apply to Debian, since we'd distribute
both.  Conversely, a software giant in Redmond couldn't distribute GNU
emacs along with their OS, since their proprietary C and system
libraries would form a collective work that could not be under the
terms of GPL.  But anyone distributing emacs alone, ported for the
said OS, wouldn't encounter any problems.

But I digress.  And this whole point is moot since it would be easiest
to just disable OpenSSL support and use the already present MatrixSSL
support instead.

> You could omit PHP or we could configure it to run using CGI that
> would avoid any license issue.

Either would work.

> We also provide AppWeb with a commercial license that is compatible with
> Apache and PHP licenses.

True, but irrelevant for the present discussion.

> > But I'm not quite sure if changing the license is an option here,
> > seeing that parts of appWeb are under GoAhead Software Inc's
> > copyright.
> The GoAhead license is pretty broad so it should not be a problem.

Wait a minute.  I only saw a mention in AppWeb tarball that parts are
under GoAhead Software Inc's copyright, not that GoAhead license
applies to it.  The portions for which this license applies to should
be marked as such, not just that their copyright belongs to GoAhead
Software Inc.  I think we have a problem.  I take that this is the
license in question (it wasn't included with the tarball):

1.7 "Response Header" means the first portion of the response message output by the GoAhead WebServer, containing but not limited to, header fields for date, content-type, server identification and cache control.

1.8"Server Identification Field" means the field in the Response Header which contains the text "Server: GoAhead-Webs".
3.4 No Modifications to Server Identification Field. 

You agree not to remove or modify the Server identification Field contained in the Response Header as defined in Section 1.7 and 1.8.

GPL does not set any restrictions of this kind, and thus it would be
incompatible with it.  Also, this would violate DFSG and software
under this license could not be included in main.  Not even in
non-free unless the GPL incompatibility is resolved.

2.5License Back to GoAhead.

You hereby grant in both source code and binary code to GoAhead a world-wide, royalty-free, non-exclusive license to copy, modify, display, use and sublicense any Modifications You make that are distributed or planned for distribution.  Within 30 days of either such event, You agree to ship to GoAhead a file containing the Modifications (in a media to be determined by the parties), including any programmers\u2019 notes and other programmers\u2019 materials. Additionally, You will provide to GoAhead a complete description of the product, the product code or model number, the date on which the product is initially shipped, and a contact name, phone number and e-mail address for future correspondence. GoAhead will keep confidential all data specifically marked as such.

3.2 Promotion by You of GoAhead WebServer Mark.

In consideration for the licenses granted by GoAhead to You herein, You agree to notify GoAhead when You incorporate the GoAhead WebServer in Your product and to inform GoAhead when such product begins to ship.You agree to promote the Original Code by prominently and visibly displaying a graphic of the GoAhead WebServer mark on the initial Web page of Your product that is displayed each time a user connects to it.

Again, both incompatible with GPL and violate DFSG.

There seems to be other problems with GoAhead license too, but these
alone would be enough to make AppWeb unsuitable for Debian.  Either
you need to rewrite those parts that are under GoAhead license or have
the copyright holder relicense them.

-legal folks, anything you would like to add to or correct about my

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