NASM Licence

Zak Greant zak at
Wed Oct 18 04:45:00 UTC 2000

David Johnson wrote:
> > On Tue, 17 Oct 2000, Zak Greant wrote:
> > Hi Frank,
> >
> > It does seem odd.  AFAIK open source programs usually have the same
> > license, regardless of distribution method/platform/etc...  Also, if
> > product is supposed to be distributed under the GPL, then why the
> > supplementary add-on licensing information?
> That "supplementary add-on licensing" IS the license for NASM.
> I'm guessing that Debian interpreted clause X as meaning that NASM could
> distributed under the GPL. This is currently under debate in several
> quarters. The clause *is* problematic, and I can see validity on both
> Considering that event the authors of NASM can't agree as to the meaning
> clause X, Debian should have kept it under its original license (as
> in clause VII).

Clause X is very ambiguous.  What exactly does:
"In addition to what this Licence otherwise provides, the Software
may be distributed in such a way as to be compliant with the GNU
General Public Licence..." mean?

It sounds like a Captain-Kirkesque logic trap used to defeat evil computer
entities.  Perhaps it is a logic bomb left for Richard Stallman: I can
picture it now "Mmmm... Clause X - GPL Compatible... no wait, clause IV -
proprietary licensing... no wait.. clause X..."
Repeat til beard explodes into flame.
(Note: I am not worthy to scrape the finger gunk off of RMS's hallowed
keyboard -- I just can't resist poking a wee bit of fun...)

Seriously -- the clause sounds like it is based on the best of intentions.
If the license is GPL-compatible (or the authors found it palatable to make
it compatible) then perhaps adding a simple statement indicating that the
license is GPL friendly would satisfy everyone?

Someone remarked that the consensus on the list was that the license was
not GPL compatible -- does anyone remember what items were considered


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