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Re: Bug#497115: gpsdrive: possibly non-free file scripts/gpsfetchmap.pl

On Sat, 30 Aug 2008 01:42:15 +0300 Sami Liedes wrote:

> Package: gpsdrive
> Version: 2.10~pre4-6
> Severity: normal

I would say this is serious...

> [Cc: to debian-legal]

I am replying to the bug number and to the bug submitter,
while Cc:ing debian-legal.

> Hi,
> The source package contains the file scripts/gpsfetchmap.pl, which
> has this copyright notice:
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> #!/usr/bin/perl
> # gpsfetchmap
> #
> # You are allowed to modify the source code in any way you want
> # except you cannot modify this copyright details

If "this copyright details" means this permission notice I would say
that the first part is basically similar to, e.g., the first clause of
BSD licenses.  Hence, it's acceptable.

> # or remove the polite feature.

The second part forbids to remove a functional feature from the script.
It seems to fail DFSG#3.

> #

The third and last part is a (minimalist) disclaimer of warranty.
I think it's OK.

Does the permission notice end here?
Where's the permission to distribute (DFSG#1 and DFSG#2)?
Without an explicit permission nobody is legally allowed to
redistribute this script (modified or unmodified!).

> The "polite feature" apparently refers to an option that sleeps
> between web server accesses.
> While arguably a minor restriction, I wonder if debian-legal considers
> this sufficient to render the file non-free, and whether the terse
> license clearly enough grants all the permissions required for it to
> be free.

I don't even find enough permissions to make this script legally
redistributable.  I mean: as it is, it could even be *unsuitable* for
the non-free archive!

This is of course my own opinion (usual or useless disclaimers: IANAL,
TINLA, IANADD, TINASOTODP), let's wait for more input from other
debian-legal participants...

 The nano-document series is here!
..................................................... Francesco Poli .
 GnuPG key fpr == C979 F34B 27CE 5CD8 DC12  31B5 78F4 279B DD6D FCF4

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