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[Savannah-hackers-public] [ #251325] Doubt about a license

From: Brett Smith via RT
Subject: [Savannah-hackers-public] [ #251325] Doubt about a license
Date: Tue, 20 Sep 2005 18:29:58 -0400

On Sat, 2005-09-10 at 12:33 -0400, address@hidden via RT wrote:
> Would this license be GPL compatible? I would think so, but I'm not
> sure:

Dear Dave,

The license is tersely worded, leaving a lot of questions open to the
licensor's intent. Without more information in that regard, we suggest
you err on the side of caution and consider the license to be
GPL-incompatible. In particular, there are two main points of concern:

* Section 2 is very open-ended. The GNU GPL requires that you maintain
accurate copyright notices; if that would also fulfill your requirements
under section 2 of this license, then the clause is GPL-compatible. If
not, the question becomes harder to answer. If this clause requires you
to do anything that is not required by the GPL, or prohibits you from
doing something permitted by the GPL, then it is not GPL-compatible.

* Section 3 implies that you have the right to modify the software, but
it's never explicitly provided. Given that copyright law forbids
modification without a license, we expect free software licenses to
expressly provide that right. If this license does not allow you to
create modified versions, or distribute those modifications, is not a
free software license, let alone a GPL-compatible one.

If you can ask the licensor to clarify their intent regarding these
issues, you should be able to tell whether or not the license is
GPL-compatible. It may also be a good idea to suggest that they
consider releasing their software under a different, well-established
license. The modified BSD license
( looks like a good match
for their current license.

Best regards,

Brett Smith
Free Software Foundation Licensing Team

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