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Re: [ProgSoc] PINE Being Free?
At 10:12pm on the 17th of April, Anand Kumria wrote:
> Using the same liblockfile library to ensure NFS works okay. Having a version
> of pine in /usr/bin/ is a violation of the licence!
There is nothing in the Pine license that prevents installation in /usr/bin.
If I keep quoting http://www.washington.edu/pine/legal/ I'll have repasted
the entire thing, but basically locally modified copies of Pine are
permitted, and the distribution of patch files are permitted, so the
practice of distributing a source-only .deb of pine with appropriate Debian
patches is perfectly in accordance with the license.
Even so, there is no mention of restrictions on installation directory in
the license. We *could* make a local copy, but we would not even need to
exercise this right, because merely copying the unpatched binaries to
/usr/bin/ does not violate the license.
> As well as restricting distributing modified binaries it also restricts
> binaries on the same media. So if you are selling a CD (or giving a friend
> a floppy disk) the license of the software must be compatible [*] with Pine.
The licenses of included software do not have to be compatible with the Pine
license. They must be of a type allowed by the Pine license, however.
Specifically, they must be "free of charge, non-proprietary, or
shareware". You can even charge for the CD. This explicitly covers
everything in debian-main. Including Pine in a CD which also contains the
archives of debian-non-free falls under option 1 of the distribution clause,
which states "Redistribution of this release is permitted... In
free-of-charge or at-cost distributions by non-profit concerns".
In plain English: you can make a CD containing Mozilla, GCC, Emacs, Python,
Perl and Pine and charge hundreds of dollars for it and not violate any
license. You can also make a CD containing your own proprietary software and
Pine, but you can't charge more than the cost of producing the CD.
The fundamental intent of the license is that you can do what you like with
the software on your own system as long as it's labelled as modified, you
can't distribute the binaries, and you can't sell it with commercial apps on
a CD. That's not Free according to Debian's guidelines or the FSF, but it's
pretty free, and Progsoc's use of it is perfectly appropriate.
Computer scientists spend way too much time fussing over licenses.
- Nicholas FitzRoy-Dale
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A: Have two, they're small!
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