BSD Protection License - bsdiff

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BSD Protection License - bsdiff

John Vandenberg
bsdiff is listed as 'Third Party Code' under a the 'BSD Protection
License'.  It appears to be Non-Product code.

http://www.mozilla.org/MPL/license-policy.html

'Acceptable Licenses' bullet 6 says:

"Non-Product Third Party code must be under an open source license."

With 'open source' linking to the OSI list

http://opensource.org/licenses/alphabetical

However 'BSD Protection License' does not appear in that list.

There is a 2002 thread about this license on
[hidden email], but it doesn't appear to have led to a
conclusion.

http://www.mail-archive.com/license-discuss@.../thrd15.html#04675

The JPEG 'license' is also not on the OSI list.

http://www.evolane.com/software/etcl/3rdparty/jpeg-LICENSE.txt

I appreciate that these two piece of 'Third Party Code' may have been
imported before 'bullet 6' was in place.
If so, perhaps this can be noted on the licensing page?

Is bullet 6 a hard and fast rule?
If there is another chunk of code which is available under a JPEG-like
license, which is basically 'as-is' but with a mandatory documentation
notice, would licensing require that it first goes through the OSI
approval process?

--
John Vandenberg
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Re: BSD Protection License - bsdiff

Gervase Markham
On 22/10/10 10:12, John Vandenberg wrote:
> bsdiff is listed as 'Third Party Code' under a the 'BSD Protection
> License'.  It appears to be Non-Product code.

It is non-product code; my understanding is that it is used for the
creation (but not application; that is bspatch) of Firefox updates.

However, it seems that the latest version of the license, version 4.3,
is available under a straight BSD license:
http://www.daemonology.net/bsdiff/

> However 'BSD Protection License' does not appear in that list.
>
> There is a 2002 thread about this license on
> [hidden email], but it doesn't appear to have led to a
> conclusion.

Indeed not. I think it's probably an open source licence, definitely in
intent and probably in practice (although the email thread raises an
interesting point about having to explicitly say people can sell the
software).

But, given the above, I suggest we fix this problem by importing the
latest version, rather than debating the license.

> The JPEG 'license' is also not on the OSI list.

That is more surprising.

> http://www.evolane.com/software/etcl/3rdparty/jpeg-LICENSE.txt

It seems to me that this license is a (perhaps less clear) rewrite of
the 3-clause BSD licence - include this notice, don't use my name, no
warranty.

> If so, perhaps this can be noted on the licensing page?
>
> Is bullet 6 a hard and fast rule?
 >
> If there is another chunk of code which is available under a JPEG-like
> license, which is basically 'as-is' but with a mandatory documentation
> notice, would licensing require that it first goes through the OSI
> approval process?

It depends what you mean by a "mandatory documentation notice". If you
mean a 4-clause-BSD-like advertising clause:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BSD_licenses#4-clause_license_.28original_.22BSD_License.22.29
(clause 3 in that text)

then that has been deemed to be not open source compatible. If you mean
that someone has done yet another unclear rewrite of the terms of the
3-clause BSD licence, then... let's have a look at what they've said :-)

The opensource.org list is a good rule of thumb, and we would certainly
have pause before using software under a licence not on it. But it is
not an exhaustive list of every OSD-compliant licence in the world, and
so the possibility exists that we would accept software under a licence
not on the list, after careful evaluation.

Does that answer your question? It would help if you could be more
specific about which code we are talking about.

Gerv
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Re: BSD Protection License - bsdiff

John Vandenberg
On Fri, Oct 22, 2010 at 9:20 PM, Gervase Markham <[hidden email]> wrote:

>..
> However, it seems that the latest version of the license, version 4.3, is
> available under a straight BSD license:
> http://www.daemonology.net/bsdiff/
>
>> However 'BSD Protection License' does not appear in that list.
>>
>> There is a 2002 thread about this license on
>> [hidden email], but it doesn't appear to have led to a
>> conclusion.
>
> Indeed not. I think it's probably an open source licence, ..

I agree; and it has some nice features.

> But, given the above, I suggest we fix this problem by importing the latest
> version, rather than debating the license.

but debating licenses is so much fun... ;-)

>> The JPEG 'license' is also not on the OSI list.
>
> That is more surprising.
>
>> http://www.evolane.com/software/etcl/3rdparty/jpeg-LICENSE.txt
>
> It seems to me that this license is a (perhaps less clear) rewrite of the
> 3-clause BSD licence - include this notice, don't use my name, no warranty.

Not quite; it requires that the documentation credits them.  We do
this down the bottom of about:license.

>> If so, perhaps this can be noted on the licensing page?
>>
>> Is bullet 6 a hard and fast rule?
>
>>
>>
>> If there is another chunk of code which is available under a JPEG-like
>> license, which is basically 'as-is' but with a mandatory documentation
>> notice, would licensing require that it first goes through the OSI
>> approval process?
>
> It depends what you mean by a "mandatory documentation notice". If you mean
> a 4-clause-BSD-like advertising clause:
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BSD_licenses#4-clause_license_.28original_.22BSD_License.22.29
> (clause 3 in that text)
>
> then that has been deemed to be not open source compatible.

Hmm.

I mean: like the JPEG credit-required clause.  This is sort of like
invariants in GFDL, and attribution in CC-BY.

> Does that answer your question? It would help if you could be more specific
> about which code we are talking about.

The code is licensed GPL-only, and the copyright holders are not
likely to look favourably on LGPL or MPL.
I'm trying to get my head around what licenses would be acceptable for
Mozilla 'Product Code', in order that I can suggest appropriate
licenses to them.

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John Vandenberg
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Re: BSD Protection License - bsdiff

Gervase Markham
In reply to this post by Gervase Markham
On 22/10/10 12:32, John Vandenberg wrote:
>> It seems to me that this license is a (perhaps less clear) rewrite of the
>> 3-clause BSD licence - include this notice, don't use my name, no warranty.
>
> Not quite; it requires that the documentation credits them.  We do
> this down the bottom of about:license.

Yes, indeed so.

> Hmm.
>
> I mean: like the JPEG credit-required clause.  This is sort of like
> invariants in GFDL, and attribution in CC-BY.

It's very unlike invariants in the GFDL.

Open source/free software community consensus is that requesting
attribution of some sort in software form is generally OK. Requesting it
in hardware form (e.g. paper adverts) is not, and saying there are
things other than copyright or credit information which you can't remove
and change is also not.

But yes, it's a bit like attribution in CC-BY.

>> Does that answer your question? It would help if you could be more specific
>> about which code we are talking about.
>
> The code is licensed GPL-only, and the copyright holders are not
> likely to look favourably on LGPL or MPL.
> I'm trying to get my head around what licenses would be acceptable for
> Mozilla 'Product Code', in order that I can suggest appropriate
> licenses to them.

If their current code is GPL-only, and they are some sort of library,
then they will no doubt have lots of other users who have GPLed
applications. As such, any recommended licence has to be GPL-compatible.

If you are unable to convince them to add LGPL and MPL options to their
licensing (i.e. make it the same as Mozilla), then the two obvious
options are the 3-clause BSD and MIT licences.

I would be happy to enter into discussions with them on our behalf, if
that would help. I've done this several times before.

Gerv
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