Re: About a license of a package.

2008-02-04 Thread Iain Nicol
On Tue, 05 Feb 2008 08:40:35 +1100, Ben Finney wrote:
 MakeHuman© code is released under GNU General Public License (GPL v.3)
 Copyright© 2001-2007
 This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it
 under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the
 Free Software Foundation, version 2. This program is distributed
 Contradictory. It's possible that this could be interpreted as licensed
 under your choice of GPLv2 or GPLv3, but I would strongly suspect the
 intent of the copyright holder is something else. You need to determine
 exactly what they mean by this.
Indeed, the website is contradictory. The code itself has a similar 
problem: (at least some of) the headers say GPLv3 or later, but the 
version of the GPL included as the COPYING file is v2.

IMHO, it's clear that the copyright holder formerly intended GPLv2 or 
later, but now intends GPLv3 or later. If you look at e.g. http://
BodyPanel.cpp?view=log*, you can see source files very deliberately 
changed to say GPLv3 or later from GPLv2 or later. I'd put down the 
remaining references to v2 as an oversight.

* The makehuman website links to SourceForge; I'm not linking to random 
websites to support my point ;)

Iain Nicol

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Re: TrueCrypt License 2.3

2008-01-13 Thread Iain Nicol

Wow, that's a lot of license text. There are multiple bits in these 
licenses that I don't like.

 TrueCrypt License Version 2.3
 II. Terms and Conditions for Use, Reproduction, and Distribution
 1. You [must] ensure that all the legal notices and
 documents (containing, e.g., the text of this License, references to
 this License, etc.) included with This Product are included with every
 copy of This Product that you make and distribute

This might be clutching at straws, but I don't like the requirement to 
include verbatim all legal notices. My reasoning is that legal 
notices could be interpreted to imply notices about patents. In a 
jurisdiction that does not allow software patents, I do not think people 
should be forced to convey notices about patents that simply do not apply 
to them.

I suppose this is why debian-legal likes to analyse the freeness of 
software as opposed to licenses; my criticism certainly doesn't apply if 
there are no such patent notices.

 III. Terms and Conditions for Modification and Derivation of New

 1. [...] 
 c. Phrase Based on TrueCrypt, freely available at; must be displayed by Your Product (if
 technically feasible)

I think it's obnoxious to have to have to include this exact phrase in 
the product (as opposed to just in the documentation, or merely requiring 
any reasonable attribution). :( However, this is similar to what's 
allowed in GPLv3. I certainly didn't like the clause in the GPLv3, and I 
wasn't the only one, but I don't remember there being any consensus that 
it's non-free.

 and contained in its documentation.
 [...] In
 each of the cases mentioned above in this paragraph,; must be a hyperlink (if technically
 feasible) pointing to

Obnoxious. It's generally technically feasible to implement the 
hyperlink, but it can still be a hassle. For example, the GTK+ about box 
lets you add a hyperlink easily, but only on its own and not in the 
middle of arbitrary text.

 Your Product (and any associated materials, e.g., the documentation,
 the content of the official web site of Your Product, etc.) must not
 present any Internet address containing the domain name (or any domain name that forwards to the domain name in a manner that suggests that it is where
 information about Your Product may be obtained or where bugs found
 in Your Product may be reported or where support for Your Product
 may be available or otherwise attempt to indicate that the domain
 name is associated with Your Product.

It's fair enough that in the derived work you aren't allowed to 
misrepresent as the originator of the derived product. 
However, there's the possibility that I link to a support website out of 
my control that is subsequently forwarded to

 VI. General Terms
 1. You may not use, modify, reproduce, derive from, (re)distribute, or
 sublicense This Product, or portion(s) thereof, except as expressly
 provided under this License. Any attempt (even if permitted by
 applicable law) otherwise to use, modify, reproduce, derive from,
 (re)distribute, or sublicense This Product, or portion(s) thereof,
 automatically and immediately terminates Your rights under this License.

This paragraph explicitly denies rights available under fair use or fair 
dealing. Hopefully a non-op (?), but not good.

All the above was about the TrueCrypt License version 2.3. The other 
license I have trouble with is a short one.
 This is an independent implementation of the encryption algorithm:
 Twofish by Bruce Schneier and colleagues
 which is a candidate algorithm in the Advanced Encryption Standard
 programme of the US National Institute of Standards and Technology.
 Copyright in this implementation is held by Dr B R Gladman but I hereby
 give permission for its free direct or derivative use subject to
 acknowledgment of its origin and compliance with any conditions that the
 originators of the algorithm place on its exploitation.

I know the reference implementation for Twofish is in the public domain, 
and it's not been patented. But what happens, hypothetically, if Bruce 
Schneier were to publicly assert that people should not use the 
algorithm, say for moral reasons. Or what if he said people should not 
use this algorithm [as it is no longer considered secure enough. Could 
those situations not revoke my license to use this software?


Iain Nicol

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Re: Final text of AGPL v3

2007-11-20 Thread Iain Nicol

On Mon, 19 Nov 2007 23:40:09 +0100, John Halton wrote:
 Do you (or anyone else) happen to know if the FSF has given any guidance
 on what they regard as interaction over a network? This is an issue
 that came up in the previous thread.

It looks like the FSF want this interpreted as broadly as possible. From 
the rationale of the second draft of the AGPLv3, at
 One thing we did not change is the phrase interacting with [the
 software] remotely through a computer network. Many commenters 
 expressed concern that this would include not only traditional GUIs 
 that users manipulate for web-based applications, but also other kinds 
 of network interaction, such as sending requests to an IMAP or HTTP 

 In fact, we did intend such a broad reading. The GNU AGPL needs to 
 cover all the various protocols and means for network interaction in 
 order to fully achieve its purpose.
 bringing all kinds of network interaction under the license's scope is 
 the best way to ensure that the license will function as designed

Iain Nicol

Re: Final text of GPL v3

2007-06-29 Thread Iain Nicol
(First: apologies. This message probably won't thread properly. This is
because I reading this list via Usenet, but because the Usenet gateway
is, I presume, one-way gateway, I have to reply via the list email
address. The trouble is my email client has no message to reply to,
because it's not my NNTP client.)

Concerning section 5d of the final text of the GPL 3:
   5. Conveying Modified Source Versions.
 d) If the work has interactive user interfaces, each must display
 Appropriate Legal Notices; however, if the Program has interactive
 interfaces that do not display Appropriate Legal Notices, your
 work need not make them do so.

Francesco Poli worries:
 It mandates a feature that I *must* implement in *any* interactive
 interface of my modified work. [...] it seems that when a
 non-interactive work is modified so that it becomes an interactive
 work, the modifier is *compelled* to implement these features in *any*
 newly created interactive interface.
Could this requirement be interpreted more liberally? I'm concentrating
on the bit from however. Suppose: I receive a program under the GPL 3.
I create a new interface for the program, without the legal notices.

The license says that, when distributing my modified version, I need
not make interfaces of the Program that don't display a legal notice
display a legal notice. I think, then, to be exempt from the requirement
to make user interfaces display legal notices, my modified version of
the Program would have to count as just the Program.

Consider that The Program is defined as:
  The Program refers to any copyrightable work licensed under this
When I convey a modified source version, 5c) requires the entire
modified work be licensed under the GPL. This then means that when you
convey a modified the Program, the new bits are licensed, and so the
whole modified program becomes just the Program. I do not need to add
legal notices to interfaces of the Program that lack then.

I'm curious how far fetched people think this is.

If this interpretation were true, then the only burden of this section
would be to keep the legal notices in the user interfaces that you keep,
but you would *not* be required to add any notices to any user
interface, regardless of whether you wrote the interface or not.

Iain Nicol

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