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Re: Java3D license incompatible with DFSG?

Eric Smith <eric@brouhaha.com> writes:

> In the course of trying to package Java3D for Fedora, Tom Calloway brought
> to my attention that the Java3D license includes the following statement:
> * You acknowledge that this software is not designed, licensed or
> * intended for use in the design, construction, operation or
> * maintenance of any nuclear facility.
> In addition to being incompatible with Fedora licensing practices,
> that seems to violate section 6 ("Fields of Endeavor") of the DFSG and
> the corresponding section of the OSI Open Source Definition.

There is ambiguity in the passive-tense phrase “is not designed,
licensed or intended for use in …”. Is not licensed by whom?

This is part of a copyright statement, so it's natural to interpret it
as referring to copyright license: the copyright holder does not license
the work for these uses.

But it's also plausible that the author of that statement is referring
to a license *from government* specific to design, construction,
operation or maintenance of nuclear facilities, and nothing to do with
copyright: the government does not license the recipient for these uses.

I don't think we should rely on either interpretation; ambiguity in
copyright licenses is dangerous.

My advice is to seek a better license statement from the copyright
holder which makes it clear what the clause means.

 \       “Science and religion are incompatible in the same sense that |
  `\       the serious pursuit of knowledge of reality is incompatible |
_o__)                       with bullshit.” —Paul Z. Myers, 2010-03-14 |
Ben Finney

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