Subject: Re: Assistance/advice in choosing a license for POV-Ray 4.0
From: Ben Tilly <>
Date: Wed, 23 Nov 2005 17:40:06 -0800

 Wed, 23 Nov 2005 17:40:06 -0800
On 11/23/05, Chris Cason <> wrote:
> Chuck Swiger wrote:
> It's a bit of a quandary really. We really want to be OSD-compliant since
> we don't want to discourage the use of our software within the OSS
> community, and to an extent that currently happens, sometimes for
> practical reasons, but I feel more often due to either misunderstandings
> or outright bias against our license. For example even though we
> explicitly allow OSS distribution of our software as per the OSS clause
> in version 3.6, we still see OSS projects claiming they aren't allowed to
> distribute POV-Ray, which is really frustrating to us.

I would suggest that you actually discuss this on some of the project
mailing lists.  You might find that they are worried about issues that
you have not addressed.

> [1] quoting Klaus:
>       "Problem: povray is NOT FREE SOFTWARE. The license is incompatible
>        with a free distribution for any purpose, including commercial
>        ones. So, I'd rather remove kmovmodeler in 4.0.1."

Poor wording on his part, but he has a point.

There are purposes which you cannot distribute your software for. 
This is a problem who want to create a project which they want other
people to build on and redistribute.

>     and
>        [snip]
>       "You may NOT distribute povray commercially without restrictions,
>        therefore a computer magazine, for example, could NOT include a
>        Knoppix CD anymore if povray is in it, unless the magazine gets a
>        written permission from the povray legal owners. Also, each and
>        every redistributor pf a Knoppix with povray needs to also accept
>        the quite complex povray REDISTRIBUTION license at" [snip]
> [2] for those who want to check the clause for themselves, please see
> sections 2.1, 2.2
>     and 4.1(c).

I read it.  IANAL, but I think that his complaint has merit.

Sure, it is fine for Knoppix to create a CD with povray on it and
distribute it.  But what if a magazine wanted to create a special
version of Knoppix and redistribute that with their magazine?  One
that includes Knoppix and some third party software on it?  Knoppix is
used as a base for a lot of different projects, and wants to be easy
for that purpose.  Including povray gets in the way of that goal.

So you've given permission for povray to be included in knoppix.  But
you *haven't* given permission for povray in knoppix to be used in the
way that the knoppix folks want to see knoppix used.