[AstroPy] SOFA license letter (draft)

Paul Kuin npkuin@gmail....
Thu Apr 18 16:06:29 CDT 2013


Hi Perry,

I agree that it is not free in that sense. I see it as a control issue,
which may come from concerns about versions of modified software
circulating which would include changes that are in conflict with the
international system.

However, it seems like one can make essentially a copy by changing the
names of the functions, etc., add a description of the changes, state the
origin of the basis of the software, and ad a GPL license. Or did I miss
something?

Cheers,

   Paul





On Thu, Apr 18, 2013 at 9:22 PM, Perry Greenfield <stsci.perry@gmail.com>wrote:

> just to resurrect one of the emails with specifics:
> http://lists.fedoraproject.org/pipermail/legal/2012-November/002044.html
>
> Richard Fontana rfontana at redhat.com
> Thu Nov 29 00:39:51 UTC 2012
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> Version 1.0
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> On Wed, Nov 28, 2012 at 06:03:16PM -0600, Jason L Tibbitts III wrote:
> > >>>>> "TC" == Tom Callaway <tcallawa at redhat.com
> > writes:
> >
> > TC> It is not, this license is non-free because of clause 3c.
> >
> > My curiosity requires that I ask if clause 4 is field of use
> > restriction:
> >
> > 4. You shall not cause the SOFA software to be brought into disrepute,
> >    either by misuse, or use for inappropriate tasks, or by inappropriate
> >    modification.
>
> Oh, I think spot and I both didn't even get to that part. Certainly,
> that's an even bigger problem.
>
>  - RF
>
> *********
>
> So don't get hung up on what "free" means. It really is an issue of
> whether their license can be made compatible with the GPL.
>
> On Apr 18, 2013, at 4:13 PM, Perry Greenfield wrote:
>
> > It's not so simple as that. You have to read and understand the terms of
> the GPL to see that there are clauses in the SOFA license that are not
> permitted by the GPL. Some of these are somewhat a matter of
> interpretation, but it's the interpretation of those that package it that
> particularly matters. I've heard the opinon now a few times that it's the
> other parties that have to accomodate the SOFA license. It's not going to
> happen. SOFA is a speck of dust in that universe. It doesn't even rise to
> the level of a tail wagging the dog.
> >
> > Perry
> >
> > On Apr 18, 2013, at 4:07 PM, Paul Kuin wrote:
> >
> >> Hi Tom,
> >>
> >> That is sort of what was discussed.
> >>
> >> I must admit that in my mind it is completely unclear why it was
> declared non-free.  It does allow others its use, and the conditions are
> mostly in the area of intellectual property, specifically that the software
> as distributed is that of the IAU, and misrepresentation of the software or
> alteration must be clearly delineated from that of the IAU. I do not think
> that comes under the guise of "non-free".  "Free" does not mean "I take it
> and tag my name onto it", it does not mean " I alter it and say it was made
> by you ", I think that the problem is rather in the software distributors
> assignment which is to blame. Focussing only on the SOFA WG is not going to
> solve this. I think there needs to be a discussion of all parties involved.
>  It would be good if the aim of the petition would be to get the parties
> talking.
> >>
> >> Cheers,
> >>
> >>   Paul
> >>
> >>
> >> On Thu, Apr 18, 2013 at 8:32 PM, Tom Aldcroft <
> aldcroft@head.cfa.harvard.edu> wrote:
> >> Following the long and useful discussion in the "astropy in Debian,
> Scientific Linux" thread, I have taken a crack at drafting a letter that
> can be used as the basis for discussion with SOFA board members or other
> colleagues with influence.  It is also written somewhat in the form of a
> petition.
> >>
> >> This is just a draft, but I wanted to get the ball rolling.  It would
> be very helpful if other affected parties (package managers, people with
> SOFA dependencies) can pitch in with more details.  In particular there are
> two open sections that I would hope Sergio and Ole can work on.
> >>
> >> https://github.com/astropy/astropy/wiki/SOFA-license-for-the-community
> >>
> >> I think anyone with a github account can edit, but let me know
> otherwise.
> >>
> >> Cheers,
> >> Tom
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> _______________________________________________
> >> AstroPy mailing list
> >> AstroPy@scipy.org
> >> http://mail.scipy.org/mailman/listinfo/astropy
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> --
> >>
> >> * * * * * * * * http://www.mssl.ucl.ac.uk/~npmk/ * * * *
> >> Dr. N.P.M. Kuin      (n.kuin@ucl.ac.uk)
> >> phone +44-(0)1483 (prefix) -204927 (work) -276110 (home)
> >> mobile +44(0)7806985366  skype ID: npkuin
> >> Mullard Space Science Laboratory  – University College London  –
> >> Holmbury St Mary – Dorking – Surrey RH5 6NT–  U.K.
> >> _______________________________________________
> >> AstroPy mailing list
> >> AstroPy@scipy.org
> >> http://mail.scipy.org/mailman/listinfo/astropy
> >
>
>


-- 

* * * * * * * * http://www.mssl.ucl.ac.uk/~npmk/ * * * *
Dr. N.P.M. Kuin      (n.kuin@ucl.ac.uk)
phone +44-(0)1483 (prefix) -204927 (work) -276110 (home)
mobile +44(0)7806985366  skype ID: npkuin
Mullard Space Science Laboratory  – University College London  –
Holmbury St Mary – Dorking – Surrey RH5 6NT–  U.K.
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