On Tue, 28 May 2002 14:52:53 -0700, "Ben Gertzfield" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
> Howdy GIMP folks. Here are some points in the licensing of GIMP that
> need to be addressed. Specifically, there's a lot of code that requires
> that the authors be mentioned in the documentation, but there is no
> mention of them anywhere.
Hmmm... This is bad, because this is not compatible with the GPL. So we
must either stop distributing these files or distribute them in a separate
package that is not GPL'ed.
> I'm not really up to speed with these issues, so if discussion is
> needed, please bring it up with Anthony DeRobertis
> <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>, the originator of this bug report.
I don't know if you want to get a copy of the messages and if I should
also CC them to the debian bug tracker. If not, please mention it on
the gimp-developer mailing list before others do the same mistake as I
am doing right now. ;-)
Here is a sorted list of files that have copyright notices that are
not compatible with the GPL (derivatives of the BSD license with the
so-called "advertising clause"):
./gimp-1.2.1.in (Spencer Kimball, Peter Mattis)
./gimptool-1.2.1.in (Owen Taylor, Manish Singh)
./plug-ins/common/edge.c (Jef Poskanzer)
./plug-ins/common/gif.c (David Koblas)
./plug-ins/common/mail.c (CMU and Bellcore)
./plug-ins/common/nlfilt.c (Graeme W. Gill)
./plug-ins/common/tiff.c (Patrick J. Naughton)
./plug-ins/webbrowser/webbrowser.c (Netscape, Jamie Zawinski,
Andreas Stolcke, Solbourne Computer)
./plug-ins/script-fu/interp_slib.c (Paradigm Associates, Inc.)
./tools/gimp-remote.c (Netscape, Jamie Zawinski)
The first two files in the list are manual pages copyrighted by
Spencer Kimball and Peter Mattis and by Owen Taylor and Manish Singh.
I think that the "advertising clause" is an accident and they did not
intend to have a license that is not compatible with the GPL, but we
should ask them to be sure (the copyright holders are the only ones
who are allowed to change the terms of the license).
The "install-sh" file is part of automake. It should not be too hard
to replace it by a similar file that is compatible with the GPL,
because this is a relatively short shell script. I thought that the
automake developers had already changed this file, but apparently not.
The other files are more annoying. The first thing to do would be to
remove the GPL statement at the top of theses files because it is
incompatible with the "advertising clause". From a legal point of
view, these files cannot be distributed as they are now, so we must at
least change their license immediately and then think about what we
can do with these non-GPL files.
We cannot simply remove them, because Script-Fu is an important part
of the GIMP and gimp-remote is required for some desktop environments.
Even if gimp-remote should be replaced sooner or later (see
http://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=52866), it would be too hard
to do it before the 1.2.4 release. It would also be too hard to
rewrite the other plug-ins now (except maybe for the edge filter,
which uses well-known algorithms).
The two remaining options are to split the GIMP distribution in two
packages or to change the license of the distribution:
- If we split the distribution, we could have one tar archive with GPL
files (or GPL-compatible files) and another one with the files
mentioned above. This would also cover some patent problems for the
GIF and TIFF plug-ins. However, it would not like to move Script-Fu
out of the main GIMP distribution.
- The other option is to change the license for the distribution and
to add the required copyright notices in the GIMP help files. For
the license of the package, we could state the the GIMP distribution
is simply aggregating several independent packages that have their
own license. We would also have to notify those who build binary
packages about the license change. However, I am not sure that it
is even possible to have a valid license for the aggregate, while
still respecting the GPL and the old-style BSD-ish licenses.
I have created a GIMP bug report for this issue. You can get it from
Gimp-developer mailing list