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Re: GPL3 compatible?

Le Sat, Mar 20, 2010 at 03:45:51PM -0700, Ludovico Cavedon a écrit :
> Hi,
> I was wondering whether this license statement is DFSG/GPL3 compatible.
> /* Copyright (C) 1997-2001 Ken Turkowski. <turk_at_computer.org>
>  *
>  * All rights reserved.
>  *
>  * Warranty Information
>  *  Even though I have reviewed this software, I make no warranty
>  *  or representation, either express or implied, with respect to this
>  *  software, its quality, accuracy, merchantability, or fitness for a
>  *  particular purpose.  As a result, this software is provided "as is,"
>  *  and you, its user, are assuming the entire risk as to its quality
>  *  and accuracy.
>  *
>  * This code may be used and freely distributed as long as it includes
>  * this copyright notice and the above warranty information.
>  */
> The statement does not explicitly state that modifications are allowed,
> but just says that the code is "freely distributable".
> How should this be considered wrt DFSG?
> Moreover the upstream author of RawTherapee re-licensed the file under
> GPL3 (keeping the above statement, but adding a GPL3 header). AFAIK he
> cannot do that, but the file has to keep only its original license...
> correct?

Dear Ludovico,

it looks like you are discussing the file rtengine/cubic.cc in RawTherapee:

I will answer to your last question first. If the RawTherapee authors obtained
the agreement of Ken Turkowski to relicense his work, then there is no problem
to have it licensed under the GPL and the above custom license. The GPL gives
the freedoms that are necessary for Debian and are not explicitely written in
the original license, and the original license does not withdraw freedoms given
by the GPL.

If you have doubts that the relicensing was permitted, then it is better to
contact both parties before proposing a RawTherapee package to Debian. The
original license cubic.cc is vague by todays standards, and it would be
preferable to check with the original author that he really meant that he
does not want his source code to be modified. 

rtengine/cubic.cc is not very long and implements an algebra forumla
that was discovered centuries ago. If it is confirmed that there are license
issues, for instance if the original author is not reachable, then replacing
the file can be the easiest solution to the problem.

Have a nice sunday,

Charles Plessy
Tsurumi, Kanagawa, Japan

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