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Re: Licence query

This one time, at band camp, Måns Rullgård said:
> Stephen Gran <sgran@debian.org> writes:
> > This one time, at band camp, Måns Rullgård said:
> >> There is one thing about that license that strikes me as slightly odd.
> >> 
> >>   Permission is granted to anyone to use this software for any purpose,
> >>   including commercial applications, and to alter it and redistribute it
> >>   freely, subject to the following restrictions:
> >> 
> >> In the above grant of permissions, I see no explicit grant to
> >> distribute modified versions.  It is fairly obvious from the remainder
> >> of the license that such permission was intended, but it should still
> >> be explicitly mentioned.
> >
> > "Permission is granted to ... alter it and redistribute it freely" seems
> > like it does just that?
> The first "it" is clearly referring to the unmodified source.  The
> second "it" has no other noun to refer to, so must also be referring
> to the unmodified source.  Had the text said something like "and
> redistribute it freely, with or without modification", all would be
> much clearer.  The BSD license uses this precise phrase.
> One can never be too careful with legal language.

One can also try to be slightly sensible.  English is an inexact
language at the best of times.  In this context, the meaning is clear
enough - it's a logical and operation.  Of course it's possible that
some legalistic moron could find a way to argue that the intent of the
license is the opposite of what it apparently says, but I doubt it will
stand up in any court that counts.
|   ,''`.                                            Stephen Gran |
|  : :' :                                        sgran@debian.org |
|  `. `'                        Debian user, admin, and developer |
|    `-                                     http://www.debian.org |

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