[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: Concern about a Sun license

Dear Walter and Francesco,

Le 10/08/2021 à 23:47, Francesco Poli a écrit :
On Tue, 10 Aug 2021 15:28:47 +0200 Pierre Gruet wrote:



When working on igv (which is currently in non-free), I stumbled upon
the license [...] including the following:
I feel that the "disparaging to Sun" part is a blocker for including the
software in the main section. Do you agree?
And what about the last sentence?

My own personal opinion is that there are a number of showstoppers
here, before the package can even be considered for inclusion in Debian

As far as DFSG-compliance is concerned, I took a look at its
debian/copyright [file], assuming it is accurate.

[file]: <https://tracker.debian.org/media/packages/i/igv/copyright-2.6.3dfsg-3>

The license for src/main/resources-jlfgr-1_0/* states, in part:

| Sun grants you ("Licensee") a non-exclusive,
| royalty free, license to use, and redistribute
| this software graphics artwork,

This grants permission to use and redistribute, but not to modify, thus
failing DFSG#3.

| ii) you do not
| utilize the software graphics artwork in a manner
| which is disparaging to Sun.

This specifically forbids some kind of use of the work, thus failing
I acknowledge that there may be other, copyright-unrelated, laws that
already forbid slander and/or libel. But this clause adds a possibly
overreaching license restriction that bans any use which may be
considered disparaging to Sun.

| Unless enforcement
| is prohibited by applicable law, you may not
| modify the graphics, and must use them true to
| color and unmodified in every way.

This restates (more explicitly) that no modification whatsoever is
allowed, thus making clearer that DFSG#3 is not met.

Thank you much for sharing your insights (and also the reference to the discussions about this license in 2005 and 2006)!

If anyone is going to attempt to persuade the copyright holders of
src/main/resources-jlfgr-1_0/* to re-license those files in a DFSG-free
manner, please take into account that Sun Microsystems, Inc. has been
acquired by Oracle Corporation in 2010 (as many people probably know),
but these assets are not necessarily in the hands of Oracle right now
(they could have been previously sold or donated to someone else).
Anyway, if you manage to track down the current copyright holders,
please try and persuade them to re-license under the Expat license, if

Another possibility could be to drop all those images from the package
and replace them with DFSG-free equivalent images.

I agree finding the owner could be difficult... as few of those images are really used by the software, I feel finding DSFG-free equivalents should be feasible.

In the meanwhile, I would recommended to also seek re-licensing
(from Apache-1.1 to Apache-2.0) of src/main/java/org/apache/*
The Apache-1.1 license is obsolete and has a clause (number 5) which I
personally consider overreaching and non-free (although Debian FTP
Masters seem to be OK with it).
Since those files are copyrighted by The Apache Software Foundation,
which switched to the Apache-2.0 license long ago, it's likely that
they are willing to re-license...

Thanks for the advice.

All the above concerns the DFSG-compliance.
Other requisites may still have to be fulfilled, before the package can
be considered for the [main] archive area...

[main]: <https://www.debian.org/doc/debian-policy/ch-archive.html#the-main-archive-area>

Yes this is true. I have already handled some of the remaining problems on my side.

I am a bit concerned because a check in sources.debian.org shows some
software currently in main embed files with the "disparaging to Sun" part.

My own personal opinion is that a package in main with such a clause
has a bug that should be reported...

As the three of us have the same opinion, I will fill these bugs right now!

P.S. : please CC-me, as I am not subscribed.


Thanks again for your time and advice,


Pierre Gruet

Reply to: