please reopen ipadic/mecab-ipadic/mozc license review
I have recently uploaded updated ipadic package to non-free following
previous decision. I would like to ask debian-legal to reopen review of
this ipadic license. (Dismissing non-standard license is easy thing but
doing so over zealously will hurt us in the end.)
IPADIC is a Japanese word dictionary data designed to be used for the
morphological analysis system to segment and tokenize Japanese text
string into unit words. It provides many additional information
(pronunciation, semantic information, and others). This license was
deemed non-free mostly because of the lack of communication.
This decision caused other important software such as mozc, the best
Japanese input method released by forks in Google, to be deemed
non-free recently based on ipadic case.
This is very bad situation for the next release considering its larger
The license is attached at the bottom of this mail.
== Short summary of states ==
Reason for being non-free: Distributors must follow the law, vague
restriction on modifications.
The "vague restriction on modifications" was initially raised by Henning
Makholm but it was dismissed by Paul Hampson in the original discussion.
The "you must follow the law" clause discussion was a bit superficial. I
agree it was badly written poor English License text but the intent of
the original licensor is clear and should not be interpreted this way.
This "legal" requirement is no more requirement than 7th term*1 on GPL2.0
prohibiting distribution for patent infringement. So this should be
The original uploader did not argue fine points and uploaded to
"non-free". I have to say that this was not the best move which is
causing pain now. (Arguing on license issue is a bit scarely for
I consider that this IPADIC License with ICOT term needs serious review
and should be considered to be FREE License.
The original discussion started with ITP:
I have put longer summary at http://wiki.debian.org/IpadicLicense
with pointers to the original discussion.
If this license is deemed FREE, ipadic/mecab-ipadic/mozc can move to
(ICOT is closed government project. So asking legal clarification to them
is not our option.)
*1) GPL2.0 has: (Emphasis by me)
7. If, as a consequence of a court judgment or **allegation of patent
infringement** or for any other reason (not limited to patent issues),
conditions are imposed on you (whether by court order, agreement or
otherwise) that contradict the conditions of this License, they do not
excuse you from the conditions of this License. If you cannot distribute
so as to satisfy simultaneously your obligations under this License and
any other pertinent obligations, then as a consequence you may not
distribute the Program at all. For example, if a patent license would
not permit royalty-free redistribution of the Program by all those who
receive copies directly or indirectly through you, then the only way you
could satisfy both it and this License would be to **refrain entirely from
distribution** of the Program.
This certainly violates over zealous interpretation of DFSG #5 but we
accept this License as FREE.
==== IPADIC LICENSE ===
Copyright 2000 Nara Institute of Science
and Technology. All Rights Reserved.
Use, reproduction, and distribution of this software is permitted.
Any copy of this software, whether in its original form or modified,
must include both the above copyright notice and the following
Nara Institute of Science and Technology (NAIST),
the copyright holders, disclaims all warranties with regard to this
software, including all implied warranties of merchantability and
fitness, in no event shall NAIST be liable for
any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages
whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an
action of contract, negligence or other tortuous action, arising out
of or in connection with the use or performance of this software.
A large portion of the dictionary entries
originate from ICOT Free Software. The following conditions for ICOT
Free Software applies to the current dictionary as well.
Each User may also freely distribute the Program, whether in its
original form or modified, to any third party or parties, PROVIDED
that the provisions of Section 3 ("NO WARRANTY") will ALWAYS appear
on, or be attached to, the Program, which is distributed substantially
in the same form as set out herein and that such intended
distribution, if actually made, will neither violate or otherwise
contravene any of the laws and regulations of the countries having
jurisdiction over the User or the intended distribution itself.
The program was produced on an experimental basis in the course of the
research and development conducted during the project and is provided
to users as so produced on an experimental basis. Accordingly, the
program is provided without any warranty whatsoever, whether express,
implied, statutory or otherwise. The term "warranty" used herein
includes, but is not limited to, any warranty of the quality,
performance, merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose of
the program and the nonexistence of any infringement or violation of
any right of any third party.
Each user of the program will agree and understand, and be deemed to
have agreed and understood, that there is no warranty whatsoever for
the program and, accordingly, the entire risk arising from or
otherwise connected with the program is assumed by the user.
Therefore, neither ICOT, the copyright holder, or any other
organization that participated in or was otherwise related to the
development of the program and their respective officials, directors,
officers and other employees shall be held liable for any and all
damages, including, without limitation, general, special, incidental
and consequential damages, arising out of or otherwise in connection
with the use or inability to use the program or any product, material
or result produced or otherwise obtained by using the program,
regardless of whether they have been advised of, or otherwise had
knowledge of, the possibility of such damages at any time during the
project or thereafter. Each user will be deemed to have agreed to the
foregoing by his or her commencement of use of the program. The term
"use" as used herein includes, but is not limited to, the use,
modification, copying and distribution of the program and the
production of secondary products from the program.
In the case where the program, whether in its original form or
modified, was distributed or delivered to or received by a user from
any person, organization or entity other than ICOT, unless it makes or
grants independently of ICOT any specific warranty to the user in
writing, such person, organization or entity, will also be exempted
from and not be held liable to the user for any such damages as noted
above as far as the program is concerned.