NASM Licence

Frank Kotler fbkotler at
Tue Oct 17 14:24:55 UTC 2000

Zak Greant wrote:

> This being the first message that I have seen since joining this list some
> days ago, I would guess that all of the OSI members are quite busy with
> other projects.
> However, if you repost your license, I would be happy to comment.  My
> uninformed opinions should be just the bait needed to attract better minds
> to the discussion. ;)

Hi Zak,

Here's an interesting "varient" of the Nasm licence. This is apparently
what gets packaged with the Debian distribution of Nasm. Named just
"copyright". I don't know what to think of it.


   Upstream sources of nasm were obtained from

   The original authors are Julian Hall <jules at> and
Simon Tatham <anakin at>.

   nasm was packaged for Debian by Vincent Renardias
<vincent at>.  The current Debian maintainer is Matej Vela
<vela at>.

   nasm is distributed under the GNU General Public License.

     Terms and Conditions for the use of the Netwide Assembler

     Can I have the gist without reading the legalese?

     Basically, NASM is free. You can't charge for it. You can copy it
     much as you like. You can incorporate it, or bits of it, into other
     free programs if you want. (But we want to know about it if you do,
     and we want to be mentioned in the credits.) We may well allow you
     to incorporate it into commercial software too, but we'll probably
     demand some money for it, and we'll certainly demand to be given
     credit. And in extreme cases (although I can't immediately think of
     a reason we might actually want to do this) we may refuse to let
     do it at all.


     By "the Software" this licence refers to the complete contents of
     the NASM archive, excluding this licence document itself, and
     excluding the contents of the `test' directory. The Netwide
     Disassembler, NDISASM, is specifically included under this licence.

     I. The Software is freely redistributable; anyone may copy the
     Software, or parts of the Software, and give away as many copies as
     they like to anyone, as long as this licence document is kept with
     the Software. Charging a fee for the Software is prohibited,
     although a fee may be charged for the act of transferring a copy,
     and you can offer warranty protection and charge a fee for that.

     II. The Software, or parts thereof, may be incorporated into other
     freely redistributable software (by which we mean software that may
     be obtained free of charge) without requiring permission from the
     authors, as long as due credit is given to the authors of the
     Software in the resulting work, as long as the authors are informed
     of this action if possible, and as long as those parts of the
     Software that are used remain under this licence.

     III. Modified forms of the Software may be created and distributed
     as long as the authors are informed of this action if possible, as
     long as the resulting work remains under this licence, as long as
     the modified form of the Software is distributed with documentation
     which still gives credit to the original authors of the Software,
     and as long as the modified form of the Software is distributed
     a clear statement that it is not the original form of the Software
     in the form that it was distributed by the authors.

     IV. The Software, or parts thereof, may be incorporated into other
     software which is not freely redistributable (i.e. software for
     which a fee is charged), as long as permission is granted from the
     authors of the Software. The authors reserve the right to grant
     permission only for a fee, which may at our option take the form of
     royalty payments. The authors also reserve the right to refuse to
     grant permission if they deem it necessary. For further information
     about who exactly the authors are, see clause XI below.

     V. The Software may be incorporated, in its original archive form,
     into software collections or archives which are not freely
     redistributable, as long as it is clearly stated that the Software
     itself remains freely redistributable and remains under this
     and no other. Such collections are deemed not to fall under article
     IV of this licence.

     VI. Object files or programs generated by the Software as output do
     not fall under this licence at all, and may be placed under any
     licence the author wishes. The authors explicitly lay no claim to,
     and assert no rights over, any programs written by other people and
     assembled into object form by the Software.

     VII. You may not copy, modify or distribute the Software except
     under the terms given in this licence document. You may not
     sublicense the Software or in any way place it under any other
     licence than this one. Since you have not signed this licence, you
     are not of course required to accept it; however, no other licence
     applies to the Software, and nothing else grants you any permission
     to copy, modify, sublicense or distribute the Software in any way.
     These actions are therefore prohibited if you do not accept this

     VIII. There is no warranty for the Software, to the extent
     by applicable law. The authors provide the Software "as is" without
     warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied, including but
     limited to the implied warranties of merchantability and fitness
     a particular purpose. The entire risk as to the quality and
     performance of the Software is with you. Should the Software prove
     defective, you assume the cost of all necessary servicing, repair

     IX. In no event, unless required by applicable law or agreed to in
     writing, will any of the authors be liable to you for damages,
     including any general, special, incidental or consequential
     arising out of the use or the inability to use the Software,
     including but not limited to loss of data or data being rendered
     inaccurate or a failure of the Software to operate with any other
     programs, even if you have been advised of the possibility of such

     X. In addition to what this Licence otherwise provides, the
     may be distributed in such a way as to be compliant with the GNU
     General Public Licence, as published by the Free Software
     Cambridge, MA, USA; version 2, or, at your option, any later
     incorporated herein by reference.  You must include a copy of this
     Licence with such distribution.  Furthermore, patches sent to the
     authors for the purpose of inclusion in the official release
     are considered cleared for release under the full terms of this

     XI. The authors of NASM are the original authors (Simon Tatham and
     Julian Hall) and all those who the original authors feel have
     contributed significantly to the overall project.  If you wish to
     contact the authors, Julian Hall (jules at should be
     first port of call.

     XII. Should any part of this agreement be deemed unenforcable, it
     intended that the remainder of the agreement be held in force.


   On Debian systems the complete text of the GNU General Public
License can be found in `/usr/share/common-licenses/GPL'.

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