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Re: licensing of XMPP specifications



On Mon, 22 Oct 2007 11:00:02 -0600 Peter Saint-Andre wrote:

> Francesco Poli wrote:
> > On Sat, 20 Oct 2007 23:33:14 +1000 Ben Finney wrote:
> > 
> >> Peter Saint-Andre <stpeter@stpeter.im> writes:
[...]
> >> On the contrary, "software" is more sensibly contrasted with
> >> "hardware", and covers any information in digital form ___ whether
> >> that information happens to be interpreted as a program, an audio
> >> stream, a text document, some other kind of digital data, or
> >> several kinds at once.
> > 
> > 100 % agreement here, I even wrote an essay on this subject.
> > http://frx.netsons.org/essays/softfrdm/whatissoftware.html
> 
> Does a wire protocol count as "software"? How about documentation of
> such a wire protocol?

Documentation about a protocol is definitely software, in the broad
meaning of the term.  A specification of the protocol is also software.

> 
> I'm not convinced yet, but I'll think about it.

OK, take your time.

[...]
> > That would be the simplest and best solution.
> > Especially if we take into account that license proliferation is bad
> > and should be avoided whenever possible (hint: it is almost always
> > possible!).
> 
> I agree, which is why I initiated deprecation of the Jabber Open
> Source License:
> 
> http://www.opensource.org/licenses/jabberpl.php
> 
> http://mailman.jabber.org/pipermail/members/2005-August/003322.html

That's really appreciated, indeed.

What is not clear to me is: which license is the Jabber server released
under?
I mean: I know that there are several server implementations, but, IIUC,
the Jabber Software Foundation implementation is called Jabberd 1.x.
A comparative page on the official web site [1] states that it is
released under the terms of the GPL license.
But the Debian package [2] says that the Jabber Open Source License
applies instead [3].
This discrepancy has already been pointed out in bug #302417.
Could you help in solving that bug [4] ?

[1] http://www.jabber.org/software/servers.shtml
[2] http://packages.debian.org/sid/jabber
[3]
http://packages.debian.org/changelogs/pool/main/j/jabber/jabber_1.4.3-3.3/jabber.copyright
[4] http://bugs.debian.org/302417

> 
> > Moreover, it should be considered that a license that talks about a
> > "specification" becomes pretty confusing and problematic, as soon as
> > the work it applies to is modified into something that is no longer
> > a "specification" (e.g.: a manual, a poem, ...).
> 
> No different from what happens when I put software onto a T-shirt.

I fail to see any problem in your example.

Suppose that a GPLv2'ed work is printed on a T-shirt: the T-shirt is the
support for a non-source form of the work (just like a piece of paper or
a CD may be the support for some form of a work).
As long as the T-shirt is provided while making the machine-readable
source code available to the recipient (in one of the ways specified by
section 3 of GPLv2), what's wrong with that?

> 
> > I would encourage the adoption of the unmodified Expat/MIT license:
> > http://www.jclark.com/xml/copying.txt
> 
> License proliferation! How is that different from the MIT license?

It *is* the MIT license!
Or, to be more precise, it is one of the two major licenses that are
ambiguously referred to as the "MIT license", the other one being the
so-called X11 license.
Calling it "the Expat license" makes it clear which one I am referring
to...



P.S.: Please follow the Debian mailing list code of conduct [*]: do not
send public replies to me, while Cc:ing the list, since I didn't
request you to do so.  Thanks. 

[*] http://www.debian.org/MailingLists/#codeofconduct


-- 
 http://frx.netsons.org/doc/nanodocs/testing_workstation_install.html
 Need to read a Debian testing installation walk-through?
..................................................... Francesco Poli .
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