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Re: Plugins for non-free software in orig.tar.gz



On Thu, 1 Jul 2010 00:40:13 +0200 Manuel A. Fernandez Montecelo wrote:

> On Wednesday 30 June 2010 23:27:41 Francesco Poli wrote:
[...]
> > > > I think the key questions here are:
> > > >  0) does the plugin itself comply with the DFSG?
> > > 
> > > It doesn't have any copyright line, other than:
[...]
> > > The author as far as I know is from Aqsis Team, everything is released
> > > under GPL or LGPL.
> > 
> > I think the Aqsis Team should clarify the licensing of those plugin
> > scripts: who owns the copyright and which license was chosen is not
> > clear to me.
> 
> That's what I think, too.
[...]
> > Of course, the quickest and easiest solution, until the licensing is
> > clarified, is dropping the scripts from the package...
> 
> First of all, I need to talk to the author personally when he's available, 
> but I think that this script is not useful to be shipped in a binary anyway, 
> so it's not clear to me why it should be there.
[...]
> As I understand it, it's of no use unless you have Houdini 
> installed, and then you have to install it in Houdiny as a plugin (not sure 
> if compiled in some way, or not processed at all).
[...]
> If upstream agrees that removing is a good option for them (anybody can pick 
> up the script from their website, should they want to use it and have that 
> Houdini software installed), that's fine for me (for the time being, given 
> the constraints of the upcoming freeze).

OK, hence removing those Houdini interoperability scripts could
possibly be the correct solution, even in the long term...

[...]
> So for now, the main questions are:
> 
> 1) I should still remove it from orig.tar.gz, otherwise Debian would 
> continue distributing it and potentially breaking the license, right?
> 
> 2) Should I do anything special other than that?  Explain the case in a 
> README.Debian?  Name the orig.tar.gz in a specific way?  Use 'dfsg' in the 
> name of orig.tar.gz, source or binary packages in some ways.

I think that the best practices are explained in the Debian Developer's
Reference:
http://www.debian.org/doc/manuals/developers-reference/best-pkging-practices.html#bpp-origtargz

However, since IANADD, I think you should ask actual DDs about this.

[...]
> > > > | Copyright for 'sdcBMP/d_sdcBMP.cpp' and 'sdcWin32/d_sdcWin32.cpp'
> > > > | under 'tools/displays/' directory:
[...]
> > The license for those files is at least very unclear.
> >
> > If those files may not be dropped without bad consequences, I think a
> > re-licensing should be asked to the copyright owner(s), or, as I
> > previously suggested, DFSG-free replacements should be searched for.
> 
> Agree again.  I'll ask them about this, too, but in the short term probably 
> removing is the solution.

OK, please go on and drop those two files, if you are confident that
the package can "live" without them.

[...]
> > Wait, are you saying that a part of aqsis is copyrighted by Pixar and
> > does not even have an explicit permission to redistribute (let alone
> > sell, modify, and all the other important freedoms)?
> > 
> > Or am I misinterpreting the conversation you quoted?
> 
> "Aqsis is a cross-platform photorealistic 3D rendering solution, adhering to 
> the RenderMan interface standard defined by Pixar Animation Studios."
> 
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RenderMan_Interface_Specification
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RenderMan_Shading_Language
> 
> This is the actual header of one of the shaders:
> 
> $ head -7 shaders/surface/metal.sl 
> /* metal.sl - Standard metal surface for RenderMan Interface.
>  * (c) Copyright 1988, Pixar.
>  *
>  * The RenderMan (R) Interface Procedures and RIB Protocol are:
>  *     Copyright 1988, 1989, Pixar.  All rights reserved.
>  * RenderMan (R) is a registered trademark of Pixar.
>  */
> 
> I tried to find the answers in Pixar's website, but I found none.  I think 
> that it's a kind of OpenGL, but I don't know if things like "All rights 
> reserved" means that they can forbid people using them, like the (already 
> several) FOSS implementations (aqsis, pixie, jrman).

This sounds very surprising to me: you are basically saying that
several RenderMan-compatible rendering tools are claimed to be Free
Software, but nonetheless include shaders that are utterly "All Rights
Reserved", unmodifiable, and possibly undistributable!     :-|

Are we the first ones to realize that this is not OK?!?

> 
> 
> Cheers, and thanks for your patience.

Thanks to you for adopting aqsis and for addressing its legal issues
with diligence!
Bye.

-- 
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..................................................... Francesco Poli .
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