license compatibility

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license compatibility

Moshe Piekarski-2
> This program was written for fun and is free.  Distribute it as you
please,
>but please distribute the entire package, with the original
words721.txt and
> the readme file.  If you modify the code, please mention my name in it as
> the original author.  Please send me a copy of improvements you make,
because
 >I may include them in a future version.

Can I re-release code written under this license as gpl-2?

Sincerely,

Moshe Piekarski

--

There's no such thing as a stupid question,

But there are plenty of inquisitive idiots.



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Re: license compatibility

Ben Finney-3
Moshe Piekarski <[hidden email]> writes:

> Can I re-release code written under this license as gpl-2?

What is the work we are discussing? Can we see the full source online
somewhere (to see its entire license grant)?

--
 \         “Of all classes the rich are the most noticed and the least |
  `\      studied.” —John Kenneth Galbraith, _The Age of Uncertainty_, |
_o__)                                                             1977 |
Ben Finney

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Re: license compatibility

debian.mailinglists
What is the work we are discussing? Can we see the full source online
somewhere (to see its entire license grant)?

http://deb.debian.org/debian/pool/main/w/wordplay/wordplay_7.22.orig.tar.gz
Sincerely,

Moshe Piekarski

--

There's no such thing as a stupid question,

But there are plenty of inquisitive idiots.
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Custom license conditions and grant for Wordplay package (was: license compatibility)

Ben Finney-3
[hidden email] writes:

> What is the work we are discussing? Can we see the full source online
> somewhere (to see its entire license grant)?

(That was written by me in a previous message, but it's appearing in the
material you wrote. I think something is failing in your message quoting
set-up, which is likely to make discussion confusing. Would you like
help fixing that? Contact me off-list if you need my help there.)

> http://deb.debian.org/debian/pool/main/w/wordplay/wordplay_7.22.orig.tar.gz

For reference in this thread, the license grant contained there appears
to be, in its entirety, this text from the Read Me document:

=====
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Wordplay Version 7.22     Evans A Criswell   03-20-96

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This program was written for fun and is free.  Distribute it as you please,
but please distribute the entire package, with the original words721.txt and
the readme file.  If you modify the code, please mention my name in it as the
original author.  Please send me a copy of improvements you make, because I
may include them in a future version.

I may be contacted by email at [hidden email]

Evans A Criswell
Research Associate
Computer Science Department
University of Alabama in Huntsville
Huntsville, AL  35899

------------------------------------------------------------------------------
=====

I'll comment on that text in a separate message.

--
 \       “It's easy to play any musical instrument: all you have to do |
  `\       is touch the right key at the right time and the instrument |
_o__)                        will play itself.” —Johann Sebastian Bach |
Ben Finney

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Re: Custom license conditions and grant for Wordplay package

Ben Finney-3
Ben Finney <[hidden email]> writes:

> =====
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> Wordplay Version 7.22     Evans A Criswell   03-20-96
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> This program was written for fun and is free.  Distribute it as you please,
> but please distribute the entire package, with the original words721.txt and
> the readme file.  If you modify the code, please mention my name in it as the
> original author.  Please send me a copy of improvements you make, because I
> may include them in a future version.
>
> I may be contacted by email at [hidden email]
>
> Evans A Criswell
> Research Associate
> Computer Science Department
> University of Alabama in Huntsville
> Huntsville, AL  35899
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> =====

There is a significant ambiguity in this text, and I'm pretty sure we
would find it problematic if this work were submitted today.

The ambiguity is: What is the effect of “please do foo” in the context
of a copyright license grant?

* If the formulation “please do foo” is an unenforcible *request* to do
  foo, then there are no conditions in this grant. Under this
  interpretation, the legal effect is entirely in “Distribute [this
  program] as you please”.

* If the formulation “please do foo” is an enforcible *condition* on the
  grant, then there are several such enforcible conditions that make
  this work non-free:

  * There is no permission granted to modify the work as the recipient
    pleases and to redistribute that modified work (instead, this is
    conditional on “distribute the entire package […]”). This fails
    DFSG§3.

  * There is an explicit clause preventing redistribution of parts of
    the work. This fails DFSG§1 and DFSG§3.

  * There is an explicit requirement that the person redistributing must
    send a copy to a specific party. This therefore fails DFSG§1 and
    DFSG§3. (See the thought experiments at
    <URL:https://people.debian.org/~bap/dfsg-faq.html> for why.)

So it seems that the only way this work can be considered free is if we
take all the “please do foo” as mere unenforcible requests that don't
place any restriction on the recipient.

I don't know whether a copyright case would be decided that way by a
judge; it seems at least likely that a judge would take “[grant of
permission], but please [do foo]” as an expression of the copyright
holder's intent to restrict the license grant.

--
 \       “I bought some batteries, but they weren't included; so I had |
  `\                                to buy them again.” —Steven Wright |
_o__)                                                                  |
Ben Finney

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Re: Custom license conditions and grant for Wordplay package

Moshe Piekarski-3
On 4/10/19 7:50 PM, Ben Finney wrote:
> * If the formulation “please do foo” is an enforcible *condition* on the
>   grant, then there are several such enforcible conditions that make
>   this work non-free:
Given that the wordplay package may not meet the DFSG, do I have to
remove it?

Sincerely,

Moshe Piekarski

--

There's no such thing as a stupid question,

But there are plenty of inquisitive idiots.



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Re: Custom license conditions and grant for Wordplay package

Ben Finney-3
Moshe Piekarski <[hidden email]> writes:

> On 4/10/19 7:50 PM, Ben Finney wrote:
> > * If the formulation “please do foo” is an enforcible *condition* on the
> >   grant, then there are several such enforcible conditions that make
> >   this work non-free:
> Given that the wordplay package may not meet the DFSG, do I have to
> remove it?

That may eventually be necessary, if the copyright holder(s) can't be
convinced to make a DFSG-compatible grant of license in the work.

Before that, it would be better to start a discussion with the copyright
holder(s) to get a more robust grant under free software conditions.

The existing Read Me document gives some hope here:

* The spirit of the existing grant seems to be “I want this software to
  be useful to the world as free software”, which indicates that a
  future release under a GNU GPLv3-or-later grant could meet their
  wishes.

* The copyright holder clearly wants to be contacted about this and
  about people building on the work. Let's hope the contact details
  still work!

* So far there seems to be only one copyright holder in the work, which
  may make it easier to get a change of license grant. You could discuss
  with them to confirm whether this is still true for the work.

--
 \       “Following fashion and the status quo is easy. Thinking about |
  `\        your users' lives and creating something practical is much |
_o__)                                harder.” —Ryan Singer, 2008-07-09 |
Ben Finney

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Re: Custom license conditions and grant for Wordplay package

Moshe Piekarski-3

On 4/10/19 9:39 PM, Ben Finney wrote:
> Before that, it would be better to start a discussion with the copyright
> holder(s) to get a more robust grant under free software conditions.
Unfortunately the copyright holder hasn't answered any of my emails to
the provided address, and I haven't been able to find another means of
communication.

Sincerely,

Moshe Piekarski

--

There's no such thing as a stupid question,

But there are plenty of inquisitive idiots.



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Re: Custom license conditions and grant for Wordplay package

Andrej Shadura-2
On Thu, 11 Apr 2019 at 06:08, Moshe Piekarski <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>
> On 4/10/19 9:39 PM, Ben Finney wrote:
> > Before that, it would be better to start a discussion with the copyright
> > holder(s) to get a more robust grant under free software conditions.
> Unfortunately the copyright holder hasn't answered any of my emails to
> the provided address, and I haven't been able to find another means of
> communication.

I’m going to give it another try.

In any case, I think it would be safe to assume the intent of the
request wasn’t to prevent us from shipping his software, so I would
not treat this as a critical issue.

--
Cheers,
  Andrej

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Re: Custom license conditions and grant for Wordplay package

Moshe Piekarski-3
The copyright holder made a statement on Facebook chat that he considers
the code to be in the public domain. Is that enough for me to consider
it such?

Sincerely,

Moshe Piekarski

--

There's no such thing as a stupid question,

But there are plenty of inquisitive idiots.



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Re: Custom license conditions and grant for Wordplay package

Paul Wise via nm
On Sun, Apr 28, 2019 at 12:40 PM Moshe Piekarski wrote:

> The copyright holder made a statement on Facebook chat that he considers
> the code to be in the public domain. Is that enough for me to consider
> it such?

Unfortunately dedicating code to the public domain is not feasible
world-wide so a license is needed for areas where it does not exist or
cannot be contributed to before death. The Creative Commons Zero (CC0)
license aims to come as close as possible to a world-wide public
domain dedication so the copyright holder might want to use that
instead. Personally I would choose a copyleft license instead like the
GNU General Public License so that people using the software are
likely to also get a buildable copy of the code.

https://creativecommons.org/share-your-work/public-domain/cc0/
https://creativecommons.org/choose/zero/

--
bye,
pabs

https://wiki.debian.org/PaulWise

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Re: Custom license conditions and grant for Wordplay package

Ian Jackson-2
In reply to this post by Moshe Piekarski-3
Moshe Piekarski writes ("Re: Custom license conditions and grant for Wordplay package"):
> The copyright holder made a statement on Facebook chat that he considers
> the code to be in the public domain. Is that enough for me to consider
> it such?

While legally in some jurisdictions there is no such thing as public
domain, I think the intent of the copyright holder - to grant very
broad permissions, certainly broad enough for Debian - is clear.

There is a difficulty with how we would provide evidence of this
statement if it came to that.  Can you put a transcript and/or
(hopefully fairly small) screenshot into the source package ?

I don't use Facebook, so I will ask: How do you know that the Facebook
user in question is the same person as the copyright holder ?

Ian.

--
Ian Jackson <[hidden email]>   These opinions are my own.

If I emailed you from an address @fyvzl.net or @evade.org.uk, that is
a private address which bypasses my fierce spamfilter.

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Re: Custom license conditions and grant for Wordplay package

Moshe Piekarski-2

On 5/2/19 7:51 AM, Ian Jackson wrote:

> Moshe Piekarski writes ("Re: Custom license conditions and grant for Wordplay package"):
>> The copyright holder made a statement on Facebook chat that he considers
>> the code to be in the public domain. Is that enough for me to consider
>> it such?
> While legally in some jurisdictions there is no such thing as public
> domain, I think the intent of the copyright holder - to grant very
> broad permissions, certainly broad enough for Debian - is clear.
>
> There is a difficulty with how we would provide evidence of this
> statement if it came to that.  Can you put a transcript and/or
> (hopefully fairly small) screenshot into the source package ?
My intent was to create a gpl-3 fork of the code

>
> I don't use Facebook, so I will ask: How do you know that the Facebook
> user in question is the same person as the copyright holder ?

I'm not a facebook user either, I went by the name, the fact that

the pictures posted appeared to be of the same person as on his

site and the fact that he appeared to know what I was talking about.

> Ian.
>
Sincerely,

Moshe Piekarski

--

There's no such thing as a stupid question,

But there are plenty of inquisitive idiots.



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