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Re: is the Clearthought Software License free?

jochen georges <gnugeo@gnugeo.de> writes:

> i asked the author, how to understand the licence, here is the
> correspondence:

Thank you for taking on this task.

> # his answer -----------------------------------------------------------------
> Basically, don't redistribute altered source files in the
> info.clearthought package. […]  The only thing you can't do is fork
> the original source.

This is non-free, failing to unconditionally meet FSF freedom 3 (the
freedom to redistribute modified versions) and DFSG §3 (the freedom to
redistribute derived works under the same license terms). The license
applies a restriction to those freedoms (“you can do it, but only
if …”) which makes the work non-free.

> i think, he just wants to avoid that there is "external" code under
> his name "clearthought".

Perhaps that's his intention; I don't know. If so, I would think a
better instrument for that intention is trademark, not copyright.

The intention you speculate may result in non-free works no matter how
it is achieved. But speculation as to his intent won't answer that, so I

> so, what do you say?
> is that free?  

Definitely not. If that restriction can be lifted, it may pass.

 \        “There are no significant bugs in our released software that |
  `\         any significant number of users want fixed.” —Bill Gates, |
_o__)                                                       1995-10-23 |
Ben Finney

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