On Wed, 25 Feb 2009 09:43:27 +1100
Ben Finney <email@example.com> wrote:
> Carl Fürstenberg <firstname.lastname@example.org> writes:
> > The Python Imaging Library is
> > Copyright (c) 1997-2001 by Secret Labs AB
> > Copyright (c) 1995-2001 by Fredrik Lundh
> > By obtaining, using, and/or copying this software and/or its
> > associated documentation, you agree that you have read, understood,
> > and will comply with the following terms and conditions:
> This doesn't appear at all in the so-called “MIT/X11” license text.
> This is an attempt to make a contract or agreement, as opposed to most
> free software licenses which are a unilateral grant of license. I
> don't know how that affects its freedom status.
> > Permission to use, copy, modify, and distribute this software and
> > its associated documentation for any purpose and without fee is
> > hereby granted,
> This is different from the so-called “MIT/X11” license text.
> I agree with you that “for any purpose and without fee” is most
> sensibly interpreted as a modifier on the actions permitted. That
> means “without fee” is a condition on “distribute”, failing
> The usual wording for licenses that look like this one is
> significantly different:
> Permission to use, copy, modify, distribute, and sell this
> software and its documentation for any purpose is hereby granted
> without fee, …
> which clearly has “without fee” modifying “Permission is granted”.
> > provided that the above copyright notice appears in all copies, and
> > that both that copyright notice and this permission notice appear in
> > supporting documentation, and that the name of Secret Labs AB or the
> > author not be used in advertising or publicity pertaining to
> > distribution of the software without specific, written prior
> > permission.
> The rest of these conditions are as normally found in such licenses,
> which have been found free for Debian and are therefore acceptable.
> > SECRET LABS AB AND THE AUTHOR DISCLAIMS ALL WARRANTIES WITH REGARD
> > TO THIS SOFTWARE, INCLUDING ALL IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF
> > MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS. IN NO EVENT SHALL SECRET LABS AB OR THE
> > AUTHOR BE LIABLE FOR ANY SPECIAL, INDIRECT OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES
> > OR ANY DAMAGES WHATSOEVER RESULTING FROM LOSS OF USE, DATA OR
> > PROFITS, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, NEGLIGENCE OR OTHER
> > TORTIOUS ACTION, ARISING OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE USE OR
> > PERFORMANCE OF THIS SOFTWARE.
> The wording of this disclaimer omits some of the terms in the original
> text, but not in a way that reduces the recipient's freedom.
> > -----------------------------------------------------------------
> > My major objections is first the "using and obtaining" part, and
> > second is the "without fee" part. but I would like to hear from you
> > what you think.
> I agree on both points. The first is of dubious effect; the second
> makes the software non-free, IMO.
> Please attempt to get the software re-licensed under the usual terms
> (found in ‘/usr/share/doc/x11-apps/copyright’ among other places).
I think there is no material issue with either of these points.
(1) A "license" is an "agreement" whether expressly framed as such or
not. In every case, a licensee accepts, or does not accept, the license
on the terms granted. Including language of "agreement" may be
superfluous, but it does not alter the legal status of the license.
(2) A fair reading of the other language is that the grant of the
license does not require payment of a fee by the licensee. ("Permission
to use, copy, modify, and distribute this software and its associated
documentation for any purpose and without fee is hereby granted.")
Indeed, any other reading of that sentence is what lawyers would refer
to as "crabbed"; you are forcing an issue where there is none.
Reducing license proliferation is a fine thing and getting the
copyright owners to adopt one of the more standard forms would
reduce the transaction costs of discussions like these, but I don't see
anything here that should trigger concerns for including the software.