Debian and SqueakL revisited again...(was Re: Debian source package)
stephen at clothcat.demon.co.uk
Mon Oct 29 15:11:39 UTC 2001
On Friday 26 Oct 2001 10:15 am, goran.hultgren at bluefish.se wrote:
[sorry for lack of snippage, I am not as up to date as I should be so I
wasn't sure what should be snipped]
> Hi guys!
> (cc:d to Stephen since he should be able to answer some questions)
> Ok, we are discussing the Squeak-L, Debian etc.
> Stephen, I thought (from discussing this with a Debian friend) that
> the main problem with getting
> Squeak into Debian was related to the export restrictions, but that
> may have been wrong(?). Having read up
> a bit on your postings to linux.debian.legal it seems that it was a
> combination of:
> - the indemnification stuff
> - fonts
> - publishing of base modifications
Neither the fonts nor the export restrictions are an insurmountable
barrier. The indemnification clause is however.
> First of all - the fontproblem is solvable and/or not a problem.
> StableSqueak has replaced them so that is one simple way out.
> And then it may be a non-issue altogether:
> Regarding the publishing of base modifications, I am not sure what
> Debian's problem is/was?
We don't have a problem with that really. The indemnification is the
only thing that prevents it from being in the distribution AFAIK
(although the other concerns you mention would mean we would have to
distribute it as non-free and non-US)
> I also saw your posting:
> And you also wrote somewhere else that:
> > A similar clause in the Squeak license was
> > enough to prevent me from packaging it as Apple confirmed to me
> > that it did indeed mean that if a Debian user sued them then Debian
> > could theoretically be liable to pay any legal fees and damages.
> > You need to have this clarified.
> That does sound as "the killer" - also read more below. Andrew?
Absolutely. Debian, whilst fairly large, and with a big userbase, is
not what anyone could call rich :) (we exist on donations of hardware
and network resources. All the work is done by volunteers. We have
almost no money at all)
> John Hinsley <jhinsley at telinco.co.uk> wrote:
> > Duane Maxwell wrote:
> > > On Thursday, October 25, 2001 6:21 PM, Andrew C. Greenberg wrote
> > >
> > > > On Thursday, October 25, 2001, at 08:19 PM, Lex Spoon wrote:
> > > > > The main problem Debian has with Squeak-L is the
> > > > > indemnification clause, not the "non-free" parts. Would you
> > > > > not be worried yourself about agreeing to such a clause?
> > > >
> > > > No. I would expect anybody who let me play with their code for
> > > > free, so that I was free to do anything I wanted to do with it
> > > > -- including using it to cause damage or infringe, would expect
> > > > me to hold them harmless when THEY got sued for MY conduct.
> > >
> > > I agree completely. You often hear the OSS community whining
> > > about how some software house should release their abandoned code
> > > base as OSS (cf. BeOS, Amiga, OpenMail, etc.) . In today's
> > > litigious environment, no sane company would do so unless they
> > > were able to at least raise some indemnification barrier to
> > > protect them, so I would expect clauses like this one, and ones
> > > that are more or less required by XYZ country's export
> > > restrictions to be pretty much standard in anything that somehow
> > > manages to get released.
No. The don't need an indemnification barrier. All they need it the
standard "no warranty express or implied, if it blows your house up,
causes the end of the world or makes your wife pregnant then you have
comeback" type clause. See the plethora of free licenses which have
this (GPL, BSD, etc)
> > Now, perish the tort ;-) I don't want to get involved in arguments
> > with lawyers, but the GPL states:
> > 8.
> > If the distribution and/or use of the Program is restricted in
> > certain countries either by patents or by copyrighted interfaces,
> > the original copyright holder who places the Program under this
> > License may add an explicit geographical distribution limitation
> > excluding those countries, so that distribution is permitted only
> > in or among countries not thus excluded. In such case, this License
> > incorporates the limitation as if written in the body of this
> > License.
> > (Which might cover the export restriction stuff)
Yep. The export restriction is not the barier though. The
> This is interesting. I had missed that in the GPL.
> But still Squeak-L doesn't talk about "patents or by copyrighted
> interfaces" -
> it simply says that countries in some way banned by the US is a no
> > and
> > 11.
> > BECAUSE THE PROGRAM IS LICENSED FREE OF CHARGE, THERE IS NO
> > WARRANTY FOR THE PROGRAM, TO THE EXTENT PERMITTED BY APPLICABLE
> > LAW. EXCEPT WHEN OTHERWISE STATED IN WRITING THE COPYRIGHT HOLDERS
> > AND/OR OTHER PARTIES PROVIDE THE PROGRAM ``AS IS'' WITHOUT WARRANTY
> > OF ANY KIND, EITHER EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING, BUT NOT
> > LIMITED TO, THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS
> > FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. THE ENTIRE RISK AS TO THE QUALITY AND
> > PERFORMANCE OF THE PROGRAM IS WITH YOU. SHOULD THE PROGRAM PROVE
> > DEFECTIVE, YOU ASSUME THE COST OF ALL NECESSARY SERVICING, REPAIR
> > OR CORRECTION.
> > 12.
> > IN NO EVENT UNLESS REQUIRED BY APPLICABLE LAW OR AGREED TO IN
> > WRITING WILL ANY COPYRIGHT HOLDER, OR ANY OTHER PARTY WHO MAY
> > MODIFY AND/OR REDISTRIBUTE THE PROGRAM AS PERMITTED ABOVE, BE
> > LIABLE TO YOU FOR DAMAGES, INCLUDING ANY GENERAL, SPECIAL,
> > INCIDENTAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES ARISING OUT OF THE USE OR
> > INABILITY TO USE THE PROGRAM (INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO LOSS OF
> > DATA OR DATA BEING RENDERED INACCURATE OR LOSSES SUSTAINED BY YOU
> > OR THIRD PARTIES OR A FAILURE OF THE PROGRAM TO OPERATE WITH ANY
> > OTHER PROGRAMS), EVEN IF SUCH HOLDER OR OTHER PARTY HAS BEEN
> > ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES.
> > Which seems to me to cover the indemnity stuff adequately.
Not at all. Those clauses say ~"you may not sue us because you got it
for free and we do not provide ANY warranty for it if it, even if it
manages to cause world war 3". The clause in the Apple license saye
~"You can sue us if you like, but then you have to pay our legal fees.
And if a third party you have no control over sues us but they got the
software from you then you are *still* liable to pay our costs and
> At least we could perhaps sortof "settle" on why Debian is not doable
> so that we at least
> know why we can't bang on Debian's door anymore.
As the current license stands we (Debian) can't distribute Squeak. The
major problem is the indemnification clause. We *will NOT* agree to
indemnify Apple against some third party who we distribute the software
to taking Apple to court. We just can't afford to. Sorry.
The minor problems are the fonts (which can either be removed or left
there. I can still distribute it either way) and the export
restrictions (I can arrange to not actually ever export it at all. All
distribution can be done from a non-US mirror and therefore would be
*imported* into the US in which case the restrictions do not apply. I
am outside the US personally.)
finger bagpuss at debian.org to get gpg public key
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