Re: Question on License
On Fri, Apr 23, 2004 at 12:56:22AM +0200, Jos? Luis Tall?n wrote:
> The License reproduced hereunder comes from "AlterMIME". It seems quite
> similar to a modified BSD license, but there are some points which make me
> suspect it could be non-free... can somebody please check it and offer some
> License Terms:
> Use, Modification and Redistribution (including distribution of any
> modified or derived work) in source and binary forms is permitted only if
> each of the following conditions is met:
Poorly worded, but comprehensible. s/each /all / and s/ is / are / for
> 1. Redistributions qualify as "freeware" or "Open Source Software" under
> one of the following terms:
Pick any one:
> (a) Redistributions are made at no charge beyond the reasonable cost of
> materials and delivery.
Prohibits commercial use. Can't use that one.
> (b) Redistributions are accompanied by a copy of the Source Code or by an
> irrevocable offer to provide a copy of the Source Code for up to
> years at the cost of materials and delivery. Such redistributions
> must allow further use, modification, and redistribution of the
> Code under substantially the same terms as this license. For the
> purposes of redistribution "Source Code" means the complete
> and linkable source code of alterMIME including all modifications.
Copyleft. Again, poorly worded, but close enough. Very similar (including
timeframe) to the GPL, which is OK. Assuming (BIG assumption) that the
copyright holder interprets this language in the same way as the equivalent
language is interpreted in the GPL, this term is satisfied, hence clause 1
> 2. Redistributions of source code must retain the copyright notices as they
> appear in each source code file, these license terms, and the
> disclaimer/limitation of liability set forth as paragraph 6 below.
The usual "keep my copyright intact" clause.
> 3. Redistributions in binary form must reproduce the Copyright Notice,
> these license terms, and the disclaimer/limitation of liability set
> forth as paragraph 6 below, in the documentation and/or other materials
> provided with the distribution. For the purposes of binary distribution
> the "Copyright Notice" refers to the following language:
> "Copyright (c) 2000 P.L.Daniels, All rights reserved."
"Keep my copyright intact in the binaries". All good, except for the
wording of the copyright notice. "All rights reserved" should be replaced
with "Distributable under the terms of the alterMIME licence, a copy of
which should have been provided <blah blah blah>", as is done in the GPL.
Note that debian-legal mavens have disagreed with me on the issue of "All
rights reserved", so it's unlikely that that would cause a practical
> 4. Neither the name of alterMIME, nor Paul L Daniels, nor the
> the names of their contributors may be used to endorse or promote
> products derived from this software without specific prior written
NOOP. You can't misrepresent someone's opinion anyway, regardless of
copyright status, which is what using someone's name to endorse your product
> 5. All redistributions must comply with the conditions imposed by the
> University of California on certain embedded code, whose copyright
> notice and conditions for redistribution are as follows:
> (a) Copyright (c) 2000 P.L.Daniels, All rights reserved.
WTF? Didn't we just cover this?
> (b) Redistribution and use in source and binary forms, with or without
> modification, are permitted provided that the following conditions
> are met:
> (i) Redistributions of source code must retain the above copyright
> notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer.
> (ii) Redistributions in binary form must reproduce the above
> copyright notice, this list of conditions and the following
> disclaimer in the documentation and/or other materials provided
> with the distribution.
> (iii) Neither the name of alterMIME, nor P.L.Daniels, nor the names
> of its
> contributors may be used to endorse or promote products derived
> from this software without specific prior written permission.
And again. This appears to be some sort of attempt at constructing a
> 6. Disclaimer/Limitation of Liability: THIS SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED BY
> P.L.Daniels. AND CONTRIBUTORS "AS IS" AND ANY EXPRESS OR IMPLIED
> WARRANTIES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF
> MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE ARE DISCLAIMED. IN
> NO EVENT SHALL SENDMAIL, INC., THE REGENTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF
> CALIFORNIA OR CONTRIBUTORS BE LIABLE FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT,
> INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL, EXEMPLARY, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES (INCLUDING, BUT
> NOT LIMITED TO, PROCUREMENT OF SUBSTITUTE GOODS OR SERVICES; LOSS OF
> USE, DATA, OR PROFITS; OR BUSINESS INTERRUPTION) HOWEVER CAUSED AND ON
> ANY THEORY OF LIABILITY, WHETHER IN CONTRACT, STRICT LIABILITY, OR TORT
> (INCLUDING NEGLIGENCE OR OTHERWISE) ARISING IN ANY WAY OUT OF THE USE OF
> THIS SOFTWARE, EVEN IF ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES.
If UC or Sendmail, Inc. have copyright over portions of the code, that
should be made explicit somewhere. This mixing of names in everywhere is
Overall, looks to me like another cut-n-paste licence which wasn't even
proofread by the author, let alone anyone with legal qualifications. But I
can't see anything that makes it non-free. We can comply with all the terms
of the licence from what I can see.