Licences Question : Squeak-L Art 6.

goran.hultgren at goran.hultgren at
Fri Feb 21 09:06:32 UTC 2003

Hi all!

Cees de Groot <cg at> wrote:
> > - Revising the "indemnification" stuff, this was what stopped Debian
> > inclusion IIRC.
> Do you have pointers to that? AFAIK most open source licenses have some
> indemnification clause...

So I went digging a bit in my Celeste to clarify (there is LOTS about
these things in the archives). A filter like "(m textHas: 'Debian') and:
[m textHas: 'indemnification']" found quite a bit on this specific

Stephen Stafford is "the man" to ask for the Debian inclusion details -
he was the one who really tried at the time.

Regarding inclusion in Debian, Stephen Stafford wrote:
> 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)

And further down regarding clause 11 & 12 in the same email:
> > [someone wrote] 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 
> legal fees."

And to round it off, Stephen wrote:
> 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.)

Regarding APSL Andrew Greenberg wrote:
> I have not considered whether APSL has the same problem as GPL 
> concerning monolithic images.  But Apple should, at least, be willing to 
> relax the font language once the fonts are out, the indemnification and 
> import  language to the corresponding language in APSL, and the "no less 
> protective" language to the language in APSL.  Better yet, perhaps they 
> will just grant the rights to SqF outright, which would leave us free to 
> do everything right and develop the One True License.

And a list was posted in October 2001 (!) when we last "decided" to do
this, Lex Spoon:

> Wow!  Let's do it, guys!
> The big things that I know of:
>	1. Indemnification.  This is a major strain on software distributors. 
>Plus, it probably doesn't help Apple significantly: what could they
>possibly be sued about regarding Squeak?!
>	2. Export restrictions.  An impediment to distribution.  In fact, I'd
>think they actually put current ftp site maintainers under some risk, if
>anyone ever stops to think about it.  Again, I'd be surprised if these
>things really protect Apple very much, but what do I know.
>	3. Fonts re-agreement.  Since we can replace the fonts, I'd rather we 
>	4. Requirement to post modifications.  This is impossible to enforce,
>so...  why put it in there?

...and there is of course much more where this came from including my
post with a revised FAQ on licensing that noone bothered to comment on
at the time. ;-)

regards, Göran

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