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[bug#31798] [PATCH] gnu: Add iozone.

From: Ricardo Wurmus
Subject: [bug#31798] [PATCH] gnu: Add iozone.
Date: Thu, 14 Jun 2018 14:32:57 +0200
User-agent: mu4e 1.0; emacs 26.1

Hi Leo,

> On Tue, Jun 12, 2018 at 01:23:25PM +0200, Ricardo Wurmus wrote:
>> * gnu/packages/profiling.scm (iozone): New variable.
> Overall the package LGTM...
>> +    (license (license:non-copyleft
>> +              "";))))
> The licensing is a little complicated:

Oh, I must have misunderstood the license text:

--8<---------------cut here---------------start------------->8---
  License to freely use and distribute this software is hereby granted
  by the author, subject to the condition that this copyright notice
  remains intact.  The author retains the exclusive right to publish
  derivative works based on this work, including, but not limited to,
  revised versions of this work.
--8<---------------cut here---------------end--------------->8---

Does “exclusive right to publish derivative works” means that people
other than the author may not distribute modified variants of iozone?
So the license only permits use and distribution of unmodified copies?

Bummer :(

I assumed that this sentence would just be an assertion of the original
authors’ right to change the code as they please without having to abide
by the license themselves (in case they are no longer copyright
holders), but the word “exclusive” does seem to make this non-free.

My interpretation seems to be backed by what the author wrote, as quoted
in the Debian copyright file:

--8<---------------cut here---------------start------------->8---
    The last time I spoke with Norcott I asked him about the intent
of the license. He indicated that anyone could use it and distribute
it for free.  The idea of the later sentence was to protect Iozone
so that if someone modified it, the original author would still
have the right to publish future works that included any additions
that anyone might have made.  And, that all of the code that is
in Iozone could be used by the original author in other projects
that may or may not be freeware. Iozone's code is intended to
be freely available. It would not be in the spirit of the license
for someone to take the code out of Iozone, repackage it
into a commercial package, re-license it or patent it, and then
prevent the original author of Iozone from using his own code.
--8<---------------cut here---------------end--------------->8---

“repackage it into a commercial package” again is a confusing statement,
because Free Software can be sold.  Would the sale of a medium
containing Iozone be considered a violation of the license…?

This is confusing enough to make me want to drop the patch :-/

Thanks for bringing this to our attention!


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