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License question: tricky issue
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Date: 2006-02-07 (12:08)
From: Sven Luther <sven.luther@w...>
Subject: Re: [Caml-list] License question: tricky issue
On Tue, Feb 07, 2006 at 08:56:26AM +0100, Alessandro Baretta wrote:
> Would the authors/copyright holders consider a tarball containing an Ocaml 
> source tarball plus other source code and other source tarballs as a 
> distribution of their software or as a derived work? The question is tricky 
> due to the non-free public license adopted by Inria originally.

Hum, ... I am not sure what non-free-ness you mention here, but i believe that
as of today the distribution of ocaml is covered by a free licence, at least
considered so by debian, and you know what that covers.

> I ask this question because I would like to release a source distribution 
> for Ocaml containing all source tarballs and all patches needed to build a 
> complete AS/Xcaml toolchain. This includes one or more stable ocaml 
> tarballs, an ocaml-cvs directory (for testing purposes), a metaocaml 
> tarball, and a quite a few libraries (findlib, pcre-ocaml, ocamlnet, pxp, 
> extlib, postgres and a bunch more). If I understand the QPL correctly, 
> should this project be considered a derived work I would not be allowed to 
> distribute it; whereas, if it is considered a distribution, à la Debian, 
> there should be no problem.

Nope, clause 4 of the QPL clearly grants you rights to distribute not only the
binaries of ocaml but also modified forms of said binaries, provided they come
under the QPL, and clause 3 of the QPL provides you with the right to
distribute modifications in such a way as the original pristine tarball can be
clearly identified.

So, i would say your question is a non-issue.

> Notice that all modifications to other peoples code exist in my 
> distribution in the form of patch files, which are automatically applied 
> before the build process begins.

Indeed, this is what the QPL clause 3 asks you, you should be fine.

<disclaimer> i am not in any way related to the ocaml team </disclaimer>


Sven Luther