[AstroPy] SOFA license letter (draft)

Tom Aldcroft aldcroft@head.cfa.harvard....
Thu Apr 18 18:02:27 CDT 2013

On Thu, Apr 18, 2013 at 5:40 PM, Perry Greenfield <stsci.perry@gmail.com>wrote:

> On Apr 18, 2013, at 5:06 PM, Paul Kuin wrote:
> > 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
> >
> Well, to start IANAL :-)
> So you're getting amateur legal opinions here.
> Note the clause 3e:
> These requirements must be reproduced intact in any source distribution
> and shall apply to anyone to whom you have granted a further right to
> modify the source code of your derived work.
> So just by changing these things you don't remove the unacceptable part of
> the license. They basically are requiring you to propagate these terms
> regardless.

Yes, I spent a few minutes pondering the option of changing function names,
but clause 3e really disallows that.  Not to try to squelch interesting
discussions, but we have talked at length about how to get around the
existing license by email, telecon, and in person, and I don't think that
it is a fruitful avenue of discussion.  The fact is that people on the
debian-legal and fedora-legal lists have both declared that SOFA is
inconsistent with their requirements for packaging.  So that's pretty much
the end of the story unless someone here *IS* a lawyer and can successfully
convince Debian and Fedora that SOFA or some derivative can be packaged.

- Tom

> Perry
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