Re: OpenCascade license opinion
On Wed, 2008-01-02 at 02:45 +0100, Aurelien Jarno wrote:
> On Mon, Dec 31, 2007 at 02:20:24PM -0500, Adam C Powell IV wrote:
> > On Fri, 2007-12-21 at 21:32 +0100, Aurelien Jarno wrote:
> > > Adam C Powell IV a écrit :
> > > > On Thu, 2007-12-20 at 02:25 +0100, Aurelien Jarno wrote:
> > > >> Adam C Powell IV a écrit :
> > > >>> It depends on OpenCascade, which has a license which sounds DFSG-free.
> > > >>> The license is at: http://www.opencascade.org/occ/license/
> > > >>>
> > > >>> There were two discussions on the OpenCascade license last year:d
> > > >>>
> > > >>> * http://lists.debian.org/debian-legal/2006/06/msg00222.html
> > > >>> concluded: the "In short" preamble description is not free, but
> > > >>> the license itself is, so an upstream declaration that the
> > > >>> preamble is not binding would make it DFSG-free.
> > > >>> * http://lists.debian.org/debian-legal/2006/03/msg00286.html
> > > >>> concluded that the WildMagic license is non-free, but did not
> > > >>> conclude anything about OpenCascade.
> > > >>>
> > > >>> Aurelien, did you contact upstream and receive any reply on the preamble
> > > >>> status? I don't see anything in WNPP, nor in unstable, nor in incoming.
> > > >> Yes I have contacted upstream about the preamble. They answered me
> > > >> vaguely about the whole license, saying that it is clear that any
> > > >> changes have to be sent back.
> > > >
> > > > Interesting. I think John Halton's point yesterday was correct: this is
> > > > not a preamble (my fault for misusing the term), but an explanatory
> > > > note. Based on that, I was getting ready to package and upload...
> > > >
> > > > If the upstream license is free, but upstream thinks it is not (or
> > > > intends that it not be), then is it really free?
> > >
> > > The problem is that the current upstream is not the one that has written
> > > the code. The old copyright older (Matra) may have chosen the license
> > > before, and OpenCascade tries to change the meaning of the license
> > > without changing it, as their business is also to install OpenCascade on
> > > the customer machines. Well it's only an hypothesis, I can be completely
> > > wrong.
> > I see. Then again they just released CADLinux which makes installation
> > of Salomé and its dependencies much easier, so they should have no
> > problem in practice with having Debian distribute it -- they must have
> > done the calculation of how much installation business they'd lose, and
> > decided it's worth the hit to broaden their potential customer base. So
> > there's likely no exposure to Debian for distributing it, even if
> > upstream thinks the free license is non-free.
> > So where to put the package: main or non-free?
> I would say non-free. It's really easy to move the package from non-free
> to main when we are sure the license is DFSG compliant. And this way we
> haven't to wait before starting the packaging.
Okay. I take this to mean that you haven't started the packaging. I've
made a little start, which you can see (once it finishes uploading) at:
(at least full sources should be there within 1/2 hour) My GPG key is at
There are comments on the package in README.Debian.html; I'd add from
the latest build that:
* Somehow "make install DESTDIR=$(CURDIR)/debian/tmp" didn't
install any header files; it didn't even make usr/include! So
the package is effectively unusable. :-( So much for testing.
* Because of filenames like "config.h" and "init.h" I wonder if
the package should have its own subdir of /usr/include to avoid
collisions with other packages...
* There's something funky about rules such that if I do "install:
build" it tries to run the patch-stamp target again. I can't
for the life of me find the stupid flaw, and it's driving me
nuts. Please let me know if you see it.
* In the meantime, without that, it builds just fine under
dpkg-buildpackage which does "debian/rules build" then "fakeroot
* I plan to put the .la files into the -dev package.
* There are tons of warnings from dh_shlibdeps of the type
"debian/opencascade-tools/usr/bin/DRAWEXE shouldn't be linked
with libpthread.so.0 (it uses none of its symbols)." I'll need
to do some makefile hacking to get rid of these before
* D'oh! I accidentally put "nonfree" instead of "non-free" in the
binary package descriptions...
I'll deal with the other lintian issues another time. And see
README.Debian.html which, in its next iteration, will actually describe
So, very preliminary, but "release early, release often" right? :-)
> > > >> Please also note that in the sources, the copyright header of triangle.c
> > > >> looks problematic. It is clearly non-DFSG free, and Open CASCADE doesn't
> > > >> seems to have any copyright on this file. They never answered me about
> > > >> that point.
> > > >
> > > > I see. Thanks for looking at it in such detail! Perhaps that one part
> > > > can be stripped out.
> > > >
> > >
> > > AFAIK this file is essential in Salomé.
> > Then we can re-implement it, starting with stubs which return errors.
> > Do you know whether this is critical to core functionality, or just one
> > of many side-features which a Salomé executable links against?
> If I remember correctly (I don't have the sources on my disk anymore),
> this file is quite big and used to create meshes, so it's difficult not
> to use it. But I think the license allow at least to redistribute it
> into non-free (I remember the license being for non commercial use
> The best is probably to get some details on that point, trying to
> contact OpenCascade once again about this point (the license of this
> file is in contradiction with their license). And if they don't answer,
> try to contact the author to this file.
> BTW, I haven't looked at the sources for some time, maybe this has
> changed, it would be a good idea to verify first.
Okay. I'll contact upstream when I get a chance.
> > Let me know how I can help. I want my clients (and non-clients) to be
> > able to install this easily on Debian and Ubuntu machines, so I'd be
> > willing to put some time into the package(s).
> Unfortunately I currently don't have time to work on the packaging.
> However I will happily test the packages.
Great, when I put up a usable -2, please test and provide feedback!
Thanks everyone for your replies.
Package development is off-topic for -legal, so my next post will be to
those interested and not to the list. Please email me if you're
interested to join in the discussion.
GPG fingerprint: D54D 1AEE B11C CE9B A02B C5DD 526F 01E8 564E E4B6
Engineering consulting with open source tools