FW: NASM Licence

kmself at ix.netcom.com kmself at ix.netcom.com
Thu Oct 19 20:55:03 UTC 2000

On Tue, Oct 17, 2000 at 11:44:54PM -0500, Nelson Rush (chesterrr at att.net) wrote:
> Good points.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: David Johnson [mailto:david at usermode.org]
> Sent: Tuesday, October 17, 2000 11:20 PM
> To: palisade at users.sourceforge.net
> Subject: RE: NASM Licence
> On Tue, 17 Oct 2000, you wrote:
> > I think Julian agreed to dual licensing without knowing he was agreeing to
> > it. Which leaves us at a strange impasse. Simon on the other hand has no
> > problem with it being dual licensed.
> My first reading of it seemed to say that it only "declared" GPL
> compatibility, and if there were any problematic clauses or phrases, to be
> interpreted on the side of compatibility. But I can easily see the other
> side.
> I still think that Debian is wrong in relicensing it under the GPL.

This brings up the question of what "GPL compatibility" is.

If license A says that license B can be applied to software P,

and License B says that License B requires all, and only, those terms
which are part of License B,

then does License A implicitly grant or authorize relicensing of code
under License B if it states compatibility?

This appears to be the reasoning applied by Debian, and would be an
argument I'd make.  

The NASM license is unfortunately vague in this regard.  It may be the
legal equivalent of Epimedes' Paradox, which IMO is a Bad Thing®.
Clauses VII and X appear to be mutually incompatible, unless VII implies
that relicensing under GPL per X is specifically allowed.

> Copyright law does not grant the recipient the right to relicense. And
> neither does the NASM license grant that right, the opposite in fact
> according to clause VII.  I would need something a little stronger
> than clause X before I assumed I had the right to alter the author's
> license. Considering that the authors are not in agreement, I'll
> gladly err on the side of caution.

ObligLarryRosenPacifier:  I am not a lawyer, this is not legal advice.
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