NASM Licence

Zak Greant zak at
Tue Oct 17 18:35:34 UTC 2000

Hi Frank,

It does seem odd.  AFAIK open source programs usually have the same 
license, regardless of distribution method/platform/etc...  Also, if the 
product is supposed to be distributed under the GPL, then why the 
supplementary add-on licensing information?


At 10:24 AM 10/17/00 -0400, Frank Kotler wrote:
>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
>      licence.
>      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
>      correction.
>      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
>      damages.
>      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
>      Licence.
>      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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