X7 Chat license... how to view conflicting additional restrictions?

Justin Clift jclift at digitaldistribution.com
Fri Mar 18 03:18:05 UTC 2005

Hi all,

Looking at an online realtime chat software package here, called X7 Chat 
(www.x7chat.com).  The license they've got on it appears quite strange, 
in that it's released under the GPL v2, but in addition also has a 
clause _restricting_ the modification of it.

It "feels wrong", and seems to be pretty much against the 2nd point of 
the GPL.  This is the full license text of X7 Chat:


  X7 Chat
   Copyright (c) 2004, by The X7 Group

   This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify
   it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by
   the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or
   (at your option) any later version.

   This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
   but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
   GNU General Public License for more details.

   You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License
   along with this program; if not, write to the Free Software
   Foundation, Inc., 59 Temple Place, Suite 330, Boston, MA  02111-1307,

   Under no circumstance, unless givin written permission by the X7 Group,
   are you permitted to remove the copyright from any of the X7 Chat
   files.  Doing so will terminate your right to use X7 Chat as free
   software and may result in a fine.

   You are granted to permission to change the file logo.png to
   a file of your choice.  Under no circumstances are you allowed to
   remove or edit the file copyright.png or remove/edit the file
   left.top.php unless written permission from the X7 Group is obtained.
   For more information contact support at x7chat.com.


Ignoring the obvious grammatical and spelling mistakes in the last two 
paragraphs, what's the best way to look at this situation, with what 
appears to be a license whose terms conflict with itself?

The code itself could easily be modified to not use their "not allowed 
to change" files and leave them there, but that's not the point.

Regards and best wishes,

Justin Clift

Executive Director
Digital Distribution Global Training Services Pty. Ltd.
Premier OpenOffice.org and StarOffice Online Training providers

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