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Re: is the Clearthought Software License free?



On Tue, 5 May 2009 12:38:20 +0200 jochen georges wrote:

> hello,
> 
> good news ! :-)
> 
> i asked the author, if he would like to change the licence and he will.

This seems to be really good news.
But there's a problem, as explained below.

> #############
> 
> ...
> 
> "4. Integrity of The Author's Source Code
> The license may restrict source-code from being distributed in modified form 
> _only_ if the license allows the distribution of "patch files" with the 
> source code for the purpose of modifying the program at build time. The 
> license must explicitly permit distribution of software built from modified 
> source code. The license may require derived works to carry a different name 
> or version number from the original software.
> " 
> 
> would you like to change the licence a little bit?
> 
> you can protect the integrity of your code, if you allow the patch-files!
> in the end it is the same than subclassing it, but it is compatible with the 
> terms of "free open source software".

Please note patch-only licenses are acceptable because of DFSG#4, but
are GPL-incompatible nonetheless.

The zlib license, which I suggested, is a perfectly fine free software
license, and it's GPL-compatible.  It's not a license that only permits
modifications in patch form (as allowed by DFSG#4): it's more permissive
than that!

I hope I was clear enough (I am in a hurry!).
I again recommend to persuade the author to relicense under a
well-known GPL-compatible license, such as the zlib license.
I would avoid suggesting patch-only licenses.


My usual disclaimers: IANAL, TINLA, IANADD, TINASOTODP.

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..................................................... Francesco Poli .
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