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Re: licensing for libpam-pwfile (ITP)

Antonio Radici <antonio@dyne.org> writes:

> The fact that it is a derivative work is clear in the README of the
> upstream package, checking the license of GWP I've found that there
> is no 'common' license for the code but just a statement that says:

Thank you for including the license text here for discussion; that's
always important.

> ---
> You are welcome to use the source of the password generator, if you

Grants no permission to redistribute (failing DFSG§1), though
apparently attempts to *require* it; see below.

Grants no permission to redistribute modified versions (failing

>     * Share your source with others freely

Gives no indication what this actually requires.

Under what license terms must the sharing be done?

Which “others” qualify — must one share with everyone, even those
one doesn't wish to deal with? (No other free license requires this
AFAICT.) If not, what is the criterion to determine whether some other
person is eligible under this requirement?

>     * Let me know you're using it

Fails the “Desert Island” and “Dissident” tests commonly used for
DFSG freeness.

>     * Give me credit, and all the other pioneers, if you use the
>     data or algorithms

Where must this credit be given to satisfy this term? Who are “all
the other pioneers”, and how can one know that one has actually
credited all of them?

> ---
> Is this a proper "license"?

No, it's yet another house special, with typical mistakes and
misconceptions about free software and copyright law.

> I've sent a mail upstream asking if he could adopt a more
> descriptive license which states clearly how to handle derivative
> work but I haven't got any reply so far.

Thank you for taking on this task. Please work with upstream to choose
an established, well-examined license that is known to result in
DFSG-free works.

 \     “A cynic is a man who, when he smells flowers, looks around for |
  `\                                      a coffin.” —Henry L. Mencken |
_o__)                                                                  |
Ben Finney

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