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Fwd: SPIN license -- now BSD 3-Clause!

Hey debian-legal,

I'm interested in getting the Spin model checker into debian. Back in 2005 there was some discussion here in [1]. At the time objections were raised because of licensing issues.

Per the forwarded email below, as of January 2016 Gerard Holzmann has been assigned copyright of the software by Lucent & has licensed spin 6.4.5 under 3-clause BSD [2].

Are there any additional legal hurdles to clear here before somebody could move forward RE: packaging up spin for debian?


[1] "Bug#296369: ITP: spin -- Powerfull model checking and softwareverification tool": https://lists.debian.org/debian-legal/2005/02/msg00250.html
[2] http://spinroot.com/spin/whatispin.html

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Holzmann, Gerard J (3400) <gerard.j.holzmann@jpl.nasa.gov>
Date: Fri, Jan 1, 2016 at 4:18 PM
Subject: SPIN license -- now BSD 3-Clause!
To: Tom Lee <me@tomlee.co>

Hi Tom,

It took a while, but we've finally been able to release Spin under a more standard open source license (the BSD 3-Clause license).
Lucent was willing to transfer all copyrights on the software to me, so that I can do the new release.
Hopefully this will now remove the problems that existed before to make Spin available more easily on Linux platforms (although I don't know how to do such a release myself.)
The new version is on the spinroot website now (e.g., http://spinroot.com/spin/Src/ )

Very best wishes for the new year!


From: Tom Lee [me@tomlee.co]
Sent: Saturday, May 31, 2014 5:11 PM
To: Holzmann, Gerard J (3400)
Subject: Re: SPIN license

On Sat, May 31, 2014 at 3:43 PM, Holzmann, Gerard J (3400) <gerard.j.holzmann@jpl.nasa.gov> wrote:
Hi Tom,

Yeah I've heard the objections to the license. I'm not sure why that is because the license applies only to commercial use -- all other use is just free and requires no license.

I think Debian's objections in particular are basically just related to their fairly strict definitions of what it means to be "free software". I'm by no means a lawyer, but I can understand the concerns about "no license" in particular -- supposedly copyright holders (I guess Alcatel/Lucent in this case?) retain all rights by default so distribution etc. isn't allowed without an explicit license to do so: http://choosealicense.com/no-license/
But.... I've asked Lucent (now Alcatel/Lucent) if they'd be willing to release the software under a more generally accepted GPL license.  They're looking into this, but I haven't heard about progress since about February.  (I initiated that after I heard that they'd done the same for the plan9 software, which used to be distributed under a very similar commercial license as Spin has.)

Great news! Hope it all goes well.
It is a bit annoying that we can't get package it more conveniently yet. Soon hopefully.

I'll be first in line to put a Debian package together when that happens. :)

Thanks for taking the time to get back to me.


Tom Lee http://tomlee.co / @tglee

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