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Date: -- (:)
From: Pierre Weis <pierre.weis@i...>
Subject: [Caml-list] Re: A plea for clear licenses (Was: date manipulation library)
> What you say isn't what the license says. It says (if you get past the 
> infinite recursion between point a- and b-, that is) that you can either 
> distribute:
> 
> - the original, unaltered source
> - a compiled version of the original, unaltered source
> - a derived work in the form of the original, unaltered source together
>    with a patch against this original, unaltered source, for the receiver
>    to compile. ("consists of" is stronger than "contains").
> 
> It doesn't allow you to distribute compiled versions of derived works 
> like, for example, a program that uses the date manipulation library 
> included with htmlc.
> 
> Maybe the intention was different, but the wording is so terribly 
> unclear that nothing more can be deduced from this document.

Htmlc licence changed recently; it words like that:

  Source distribution of derivative works obtained by modifying the
  software or integrating it in another software is allowed, only if the
  distribution consists of the unmodified, original source files for the
  software, along with difference files (patches) to be applied by the
  user of the derivative work.

  Binary distribution of derivative works obtained by modifying the
  software or integrating it in another software is allowed, only if the
  distribution explicitely contains the following sentance

  ``Htmlc code is used into this software; htmlc is copyrighted INRIA
    and can be downloaded from http://caml.inria.fr/htmlc/.''

  Typical place for this phrase being the About-dialog and the
  documentation of the derivative work.

This seems now reasonably clear, no ?

> See also point 5 of http://people.debian.org/~bap/dfsg-faq.html on how 
> to choose a free license.

[...]

> Using anything else will just add to the confusion, splinter the 
> language community, turn the grass yellow and make your hair fall out.

Sorry, but I cannot agree with you, at least concerning the INRIA Caml
developers team. These people are not hobbyists nor students. They are
not developping in their garage and/or on sourceforge. It turns out
that they are paid full time by the french government, and this gives
them a lot of rights and some correlative duties. Believe it or not,
France has been editing laws about workers and civil servants for a
long time from now. One of this law explicitly states that the
software written by employees during their working hours is the
property of their employer (being it public or private). Consider all
the implications of this fact and in particular what it means when we
are at picking up a licence for a software we want to distribute: we
have to be extremely cautious in choosing a licence that INRIA's head
quarters can consider acceptable...

None of the licences you mentioned has been reviewed by INRIA lawyers
for adequacy to the french laws. Htmlc's licence, while exotic from
your point of view, has been used for years here: I think it is safer
from our point of view of INRIA's workers.

Yours,

Pierre Weis

INRIA, Projet Cristal, Pierre.Weis@inria.fr, http://pauillac.inria.fr/~weis/


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