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Re: torque license change

On Thu, 5 Jan 2012 14:15:26 -0500 Dominique Belhachemi wrote:

> Hi all,

Hi Dominique!

> I need some opinions about torque's license change.
> Earlier versions of torque (<=2.4) are shipped under the original PBS
> License (e.g. torque-2.4.16/PBS_License.txt).
> But now there is a license change in upstreams new torque packages (>=2.5)
> and I am not sure how to handle this new situation. They added a new
> license (torque-2.5.9/PBS_License_2.5.txt) to the source package and moved
> the old license to (torque-2.5.9/contrib/PBS_License_2.3.txt)
> I am posting both licenses below for convenience. Is the license change
> legal?

That depends on many things, some of which are a bit unclear from what
I can see.
Anyway, most debian-legal regulars are not lawyers or judges and
haven't received any formal legal training. As a consequence, we are
not able to give definitive answers on what is or is not permitted by
law. Above all, we cannot give legal advice!

> original license in torque-2.4.16/PBS_License.txt :

The first license you quoted is practically identical to the one
discussed in the following threads:

The only addition is the "Addendum" which specifies how OpenPBS source
may be obtained.
This seems to be an attempt to comply with the license of the original
OpenPBS, from which Torque was forked, as far as I understand.

Anyway, the license seems to fail the DFSG, since it includes non-free
restrictions (at least in clause 5):

Nonetheless, it seems that, after some years, people began to think
about uploading Torque to Debian main:

After the n-th licensing oversight by the FTP-masters, there we go!
Torque is in Debian main, with its non-free restrictions!  :-(
Hooray!    :-(

I am very disappointed by the ease with which non-free software
continues to slip into Debian main...
I think that someone should file a serious bug against the torque
What do other debian-legal regulars think?
Especially those that were already active on this list during the
above-cited discussions (for instance, MJ Ray)?

> original license in torque-2.5.9/PBS_License_2.5.txt :

The second license you quoted seems to be a re-adapted variant of the
first license, with clauses 1 and 2 completely dropped, the other
clauses renumbered and many other (minor and/or cosmetic) changes.
The main Freeness issues still apply, I would say, even though they are
now in clause 3, rather than in clause 5.

> Note 1: TORQUE is developed from an earlier version v2.3 of OpenPBS. TORQUE
> has
> been developed beyond OpenPBS v2.3. The OpenPBS v2.3 license and OpenPBS
> software
> can be obtained at:
> http://www.pbsworks.com/ResLibSearchResult.aspx?keywords=openpbs&industry=All&pro
> duct_service=All&category=Free%20Software%20Downloads&order_by=title. Users
> of
> TORQUE should comply with the TORQUE license as well as the OpenPBS
> license.

This note seems to state that Torque is distributed under both the
original OpenPBS license (the first one you quoted) and the new TORQUE
license (the second one you quoted).
Make no mistake: it does *not* seem to say that it's dual-licensed (this
would mean: under one of the two licenses, at the recipient's choice),
but it appears to say that you have to comply with *both* licenses at
the same time.

If this is true, it seems to imply that parts of the work are under the
first license, while other parts are under the second one.

In general, this can indeed happen, and I think it does not pose any
legal problems, as long as the two licenses are compatible with each

But in the present case, I wonder how could this be done.
The first license states, in part of clause 5:

|   all modifications
|   and additions to the Software must be freely redistributable by any party
|   (including Licensor) without restriction.

I would say that Torque includes many parts which are indeed
modifications and additions to the original OpenPBS.

Hence, those parts seem to have to be "freely redistributable by any
party (including [OpenPBS] Licensor) without restriction."

But the parts redistributable under the terms of the TORQUE license are
*not* redistributable by any party without restriction!

Where am I wrong?
Are Torque upstream developers violating the license of the original

 New GnuPG key, see the transition document!
..................................................... Francesco Poli .
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