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[Mingw-cross-env-list] Re: Licence of included packages

From: Volker Grabsch
Subject: [Mingw-cross-env-list] Re: Licence of included packages
Date: Fri, 17 Sep 2010 03:35:39 +0200
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.18 (2008-05-17)

Tony Theodore <address@hidden> schrieb:
> I was looking at metis/suitesparse support and somehow noticed that
> metis 4 doesn't have a licence. The website [1] makes a distinction
> for commercial use, and mentions "freely distributed" along with
> "permission .... must be obtained". The licence in version 5 [2] is
> similar, but also covers use.

It might be a good idea to ask them for clarification. Chances are
that they'll put their code explicitly under a Free Software license
when they are asked to do so.

You could also contact the FSF or the FSFE and ask them for help.
For instance, the FSFE provides a "Freedom Task Force" which is
specialized for helping in licensing issues:


> How does this relate to mingw-cross-env? I'd probably err on the side
> of caution and say that without a licence (version 4) it can't be
> included. Given that we don't distribute it, and basically just
> "evaluate" if it builds; would version 5 be safe to include?

No, it wouldn't.

Don't forget that by default, Mingw-cross-env downloads and builds
_all_ packages, so a normal user might break the license of such
an unfree package without even noticing. So we would somehow have
to exclude those or make them optional or put in warning, which
would introduce unnecessary complexity not just for us (the
developers) but also for our users.

> Or do we just make it simple and only include DFSG/OSI packages?

For the reasons above, and since we are a free software project
with really limited resources, I think we should stick to Free
Software packages.

However, feel free to try to make metis/suitesparse a Free Software
package. That's the way to go. :-)


Volker Grabsch
NotJustHosting GbR

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