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Re: Please review Julius's license (custom license with publicity clause)

On Sat, Jul 17, 2010 at 07:54:32PM -0700, Walter Landry wrote:
> Siegfried-Angel Gevatter Pujals <siegfried@gevatter.com> wrote:
> > I'm particularly concerned about point 3 asking for the software to be
> > mentioned on any "published/presented results" of its use, although
> > this requirement doesn't seem to violate any DFSG principle.
> Clause 3  is the only problematic clause I could see.
> There is some ambiguity on what they mean by "publish or present any
> results".  For example, suppose someone makes a device for use in Iraq
> that translates from English to Arabic and back.  The device uses
> Julian to figure out what is being spoken so that it can be translated
> by another program.  Does a soldier have to mention Julian every time
> he writes a report where he quotes someone via the device?  He is
> presenting results to his superiors that use Julian.

I assume that what the licence authors mean is _scientific_ publication
or presentation. I cannot be certain just from the English translation.
However, the copyright notice indicates that Julius emerged from
scientific research.

What this (if I am correct) implies for DFSG freeness is another issue.
Mentioning Julius if your scientific results use it is part of common
scholarly ethics anyway. Also, if the results just were obtained using
Julius, but in that case I am less certain because I never conducted
experimental science.
So the clause casts a common scientific code of conduct into the license.
I do not think this makes the clause very useful for the licensor.
For freeness, it may be a problem: It discriminates against a field of
endeavor, namely scientific publication without proper citation.

With regard to this clause, I think the best way of action would be to
try to persuade the licensor that the clause's benefit is more doubtful
than its drawback (i.e. non-freeness).

Best regards,

  Mark Weyer

(non-layer, non-DD)

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