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Re: License review request: LinuxMagic FSCL

Ryan Finnie <ryan@finnie.org> asked for help with:
> 1. The license[2], also included below, has not been reviewed by the
> OSI, and is not used in any existing Debian package.  The company
> itself considers it "open source", but I feel I am not qualified to
> make a determination.

I will comment on it below.  Summary: I'd upload to non-free.

> 2. The software is designed to replace certain components of qmail,
> which is wholly non-free.  Even if the license is clean, does this
> make the software part of the non-free archive as well? [...]

I don't think so, but it depends how closely it is tied into qmail.
If it requires parts of qmail to run, it is at best contrib.  However,
it's licence seems clearly non-free to me.

> 3. More of a technical packaging question, but as long as I'm here...

I think others have answered this well.

> [0] http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=296037

Please add a pointer to this thread there.

Now, a quick review:

> Our Free Source Code License
> Version 1.0 - April 17, 2001
> NOTE! Many of LinuxMagic's Software's are released under the GPL, [...]

The licence ha's 'several grocer's apo'strophe's.

> [...] Parts of this License
> created based on the Apple Public Software License.

First warning sign: there's stuff under APSL in non-free, according
to the old list on http://www.fr.debian.org/legal/licenses/

Other relevant references to APSL 2.0 I found:

> Please read this License carefully before downloading or using this
> software. By downloading or using this software, you are agreeing to
> be bound by the terms of this License. [...]

At least here, I don't need a copyright licence for some use of the

> 1.1 "Applicable Patent Rights" mean:

Second warning sign: combined copyright and patent licence.  May
terminate abruptly, or let US patent law reach non-swpat places.

> 2.1 You may use, reproduce, display, perform, modify and distribute
> Original Code, with or without Modifications, solely for Your internal
> research and development and/or Personal Use, provided that in each
> instance:

Again, at least here, I don't need a licence for private study and so on,
but we have to meet these terms for other uses in 2.2 and so on, so let's
still review them:

> (a) You must retain and reproduce in all copies of Original Code the
> copyright and other proprietary notices and disclaimers of THE WIZARDS
> as they appear in the Original Code, and keep intact all notices in
> the Original Code that refer to this License; and

OK, but watch out for excessive notices and disclaimers.

> (b) You must include a copy of this License with every copy of
> Source Code of Covered Code and documentation You distribute, and You
> may not offer or impose any terms on such Source Code that alter or
> restrict this License or the recipients' rights hereunder, except as
> permitted under Section 6.

Absolutely fine, as far as I can tell.

> 2.2 You may use, reproduce, display, perform, modify and Deploy
> Covered Code, provided that in each instance:
> (a) You must satisfy all the conditions of Section 2.1 with respect
> to the Source Code of the Covered Code;
> (b) You must duplicate, to the extent it does not already exist, the
> notice in Exhibit A in each file of the Source Code of all Your
> Modifications, and cause the modified files to carry prominent notices
> stating that You changed the files and the date of any change;

OK, but watch out for excessive Exhibit A notices.

> (c) You must make Source Code of all Your Deployed Modifications
> publicly available under the terms of this License, including the
> license grants set forth in Section 3 below, for as long as you Deploy
> the Covered Code or twelve (12) months from the date of initial
> Deployment, whichever is longer. You should preferably distribute the
> Source Code of Your Deployed Modifications electronically (e.g.
> download from a web site); and

This looks like forced *public* availability and a 12-month retainer,
which I think is both a significant cost (so not free redistribution)
and maybe a practical problem.

> (d) if You Deploy Covered Code in object code, executable form only,
> You must include a prominent notice, in the code itself as well as in
> related documentation, stating that Source Code of the Covered Code is
> available under the terms of this License with information on how and
> where to obtain such Source Code.

OK, depending on how "related documentation" is interpreted.

> 3. Your Grants. In consideration of, and as a condition to, the
> licenses granted to You under this License:
> (a) You hereby grant to THE WIZARDS and all third parties a
> non-exclusive, royalty-free license, under Your Applicable Patent
> Rights and other intellectual property rights (other than patent)
> owned or controlled by You, to use, reproduce, display, perform,
> modify, distribute and Deploy Your Modifications of the same scope and
> extent as THE WIZARDS's licenses under Sections 2.1 and 2.2; and
> (b) You hereby grant to THE WIZARDS and its subsidiaries a
> non-exclusive, worldwide, royalty-free, perpetual and irrevocable
> license, under Your Applicable Patent Rights and other intellectual
> property rights (other than patent) owned or controlled by You, to
> use, reproduce, display, perform, modify or have modified (for THE
> WIZARDS and/or its subsidiaries), sublicense and distribute Your
> Modifications, in any form, through multiple tiers of distribution.

I think this requires payment in kind to THE WIZARDS.  I change stuff
for a friend and I have to give my work to THE WIZARDS.

> 5. Limitations on Patent License. Except as expressly stated in
> Section 2, no other patent rights, express or implied, are granted by
> THE WIZARDS herein. Modifications and/or Larger Works may require
> additional patent licenses from THE WIZARDS which THE WIZARDS may
> grant in its sole discretion.

OK, but watch out for other patents.  (If there are none, why did they
include this clause?)

> 6. Additional Terms. You may choose to offer, and to charge a fee for,
> warranty, support, indemnity or liability obligations and/or other
> rights consistent with the scope of the license granted herein
> ("Additional Terms") to one or more recipients of Covered Code.
> However, You may do so only on Your own behalf and as Your sole
> responsibility, and not on behalf of THE WIZARDS or any Contributor.
> You must obtain the recipient's agreement that any such Additional
> Terms are offered by You alone, and You hereby agree to indemnify,
> defend and hold THE WIZARDS and every Contributor harmless for any
> liability incurred by or claims asserted against THE WIZARDS or such
> Contributor by reason of any such Additional Terms.

Forbids providing support as an agent of any Contributor.  This combines
with the "Entire Agreement" clause to be a restriction on commercial
activity. (Why should THE WIZARDS try to forbid me from a support agency
agreement with other Contributors?)

> 12. Termination.
> 12.1 Termination. This License and the rights granted hereunder will ter=
> minate:
> (c) automatically without notice from THE WIZARDS if You, at any
> time during the term of this License, commence an action for patent
> infringement against THE WIZARDS.

Now the second warning sign is shown right: This looks like termination
of copyright licence for acts unrelated to this software.  IMO, it
contaminates other software - and hardware and everything else too,
for that matter!

> 13.6 Dispute Resolution. Any litigation or other dispute resolution
> between You and THE WIZARDS relating to this License shall take place
> in the Province of British Columbia, and You and THE WIZARDS hereby
> consent to the personal jurisdiction of, and venue in, the state and
> federal courts within that Province with respect to this License. The
> application of the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the
> International Sale of Goods is expressly excluded.

Choice of venue, which is a big arbitrary potential cost and potential
termination clause, unless someone can confirm that there's no chance
of licensees having to travel to BC to win nuisance lawsuits.

(OT: does Canada have state courts?  It looks like this is a half-done
rewrite, as http://www.scc-csc.gc.ca/aboutcourt/system/index_e.asp
mentions provinicial courts, not state ones.)

> 13.7 Entire Agreement; Governing Law.  [...]

Choice of law is fine by me.

> "Portions Copyright (c) 2000-2001 LinuxMagic Inc. All Rights Reserved.
> "Portions Copyright (c) 2000-2001 Wizard Tower TechnoServices Ltd. All
> Rights Reserved.
> This file contains Original Code and/or Modifications of Original Code
> as defined in and that are subject to the Free Source Code License
> Version 1.0 (the 'License'). You may not use this file except in
> compliance with the License. [...]

At least here, that's not true.

Hope that helps,
My Opinion Only: see http://people.debian.org/~mjr/
Please follow http://www.uk.debian.org/MailingLists/#codeofconduct

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