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Re: Frontier Artistic License

Barry deFreese <bddebian@comcast.net> wrote:
> While working on liquidwar for the games team I came across some code 
> that appears to be under the Frontier Artistic License.  It seems that 
> there are packages using it.  Here is a copy of the text:
> 4. You may distribute the programs of this Package in object code or
> executable form, provided that you do at least ONE of the following:
>   a) Distribute a Standard Version of the executables and library
>   files, together with instructions (in the manual page or
>   equivalent) on where to get the Standard Version.
>   b) Accompany the distribution with the machine-readable source of
>   the Package with your modifications.
> Section 3 is the one that concerns me a little but it seems that we 
> allow the Artistic License so I wanted to be sure.

Short version: I think 4.b gives us a way through it that meets the
DFSG well enough.  Others probably disagree.

Long version: it looks like it's based on Artistic License 1.0, which
has been criticised here and elsewhere as poorly-written.  wdiff
suggests this one changes a few words that make it even vaguer.  It
might be worth asking them to change it.  Surely Clarified Artistic or
Artistic 2 wouldn't be a difficult sell?

Detailed version: I used the rc shell command wdiff
/usr/share/common-licenses/Artistic <{curl -s
and found "{+script, suite, file, or} collection of {+scripts,}
{+suites, and/or} files" and "copyright {+statement} or [-copyrights]
{+statements}" in the definitions; a few minor punctuation,
capitalisation and tense changes; moving the private use permissions
(3b becomes 3a) and adding "{+or retain the modified Package solely
for personal use. }"; "7. [-C] {+Scripts, suites,} or [-perl
subroutines] {+programs} supplied by you [-and linked into] {+that
depend on or} {+otherwise make use of} this Package shall not be
considered part of this Package.".

My wdiff script is:-

if (~ $#* 2) {
' diff -ubB -U 256 <{tr ' ' $nl <$1} <{tr ' ' $nl <$2} \
| sed -e '1,3d;/^@@.*$/s//[...]/;/^+++ /d;/^--- /d;s/^-\(.*\)/\[-\1\]/;s/^+\(.*\)/{+\1}/;s/^ //' \
| tr $nl ' ' | fmt | sed -e 's/\] \[-/ /g;s/} {+/ /g;s/\[- *\]//g'
} else {
echo Usage: $0 file1 file2 >[1=2]

The above is in the public domain but I like being mentioned.

Hope that helps,
MJ Ray (slef)
Webmaster for hire, statistician and online shop builder for a small
worker cooperative http://www.ttllp.co.uk/ http://mjr.towers.org.uk/
(Notice http://mjr.towers.org.uk/email.html) tel:+44-844-4437-237

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