Re: [hatari-devel] The IPF license

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On 21/12/2013 21:01, David Savinkoff wrote:

I'm concerned about Debian, Fedora and other distro policies.

I believe the best way to do things is to leave the problem
to those that want the problem (and IPF).

It appears that the user Must download the IPF library...
Hatari cannot distribute it.


I don't see this in the SPS licence, they say the library can't be distributed/included with a project (Hatari in that case) if a profit is made. But you can do it if the resulting binaries are distributed for free (no profit).

The user has the freedom to modify and compile Hatari, thus,
the only thing required is instructions on how to compile
Hatari with IPF.

Hatari must not be distributed with any IPF code or binaries.
Hatari must compile and run, by default, without IPF.
Hatari does not need any license changes or exemptions.
Furthermore, the modification to /hatari/readme.txt must be
reverted because it is not required and it is misrepresentative.

This is the easiest method. Otherwise Hatari-1.7.0 may be
the last widely distributed version.

There's more than the linux distro scenario, we also have Windows or OSX users, and amongst those users, many people have no clue on how to compile a binary version from the sources with IPF enabled.

Now, we could consider some people who know how to build a Windows/OSX or any other OS version and could host the resulting Hatari binary somewhere as a convenience for users with no compling skill (this is what Jerome Vernet does for example with his OSX build).

The purpose of the exception would be to allow this distribution case : that someone could build an Hatari exe and distribute it with the IPF support enabled (free of charge, no profit). Without the exception, GPL forbids it, so IPF support would be limited only to people with compiling skills, which would be sad.

To summarize different cases for OS / users skills, this is what I see :

- linux distros that consider SPS licence is not compatible : they keep on providing an hatari rpm/deb/... as today with no IPF support, as Hatari exe in that case will remain pure GPL code when IPF is disabled
  -> licence change is not useful for this case

- linux distros which have a "tainted" or "non free" repository, to include deb/rpm of some video codec or proprietary software in an optionnal way : if such distro is free of charge, the exception allows them to include a compiled hatari version with IPF support and put it in a "non-pure" GPL repository
  -> licence change is useful for this case

- people who want to provide free of charge precompiled version of Hatari (mainly for Windows and OSX), with all options enabled. For example Jerome's version with XCode. Without the exception, the hatari binary could not use IPF (even if the user downloaded the library himself). With the exception, we can provide a binary with IPF enabled, and even provide the IPF dll or library in the same package.
  -> licence change is useful for this case

- someone wants to build an ios/android version of Hatari and sells it : he can do this without IPF support (assuming he respects all GPL conditions). If he wants to provide a binary version with IPF support, then he must comply to the SPS part and let the user install the IPF library himself (but that's not our problem, the "for profit" case of distributing Hatari doesn't seem the most used case to me, nor the top priority).

So, in my opinion, the licence exception doesn't restrict anything compared to today. Distro with strict GPL can keep on providing rpm/deb/.. of hatari without any IPF support.

And with the licence exception, distro with special repositories can add Hatari with IPF support to their repo and individual users can also keep on providing compiled version of Hatari with IPF support (assuming all other GPL/SPS licence' requirements are still respected of course).

Just providing instructions on how to compile Hatari is not enough to avoid the licence problem for all kind of users, in the same way that you say Hatari 1.7 would be the last widely distributed version, limiting IPF usage to people with compiling abilities would be also rather frustrating for a lot of people.


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