Subject: Re: license submission: qmail
From: Ian Lance Taylor <>
Date: 07 Jun 2001 14:10:05 -0700

Brian Behlendorf <> writes:

> On 7 Jun 2001, Ian Lance Taylor wrote:
> > > Thus, I submit that either qmail's license be approved as an
> > > OSD-conformant license, or OSI consider whether clause #4 needs, er,
> > > "clarification".  It's hard to argue that neither is the case.
> >
> > So you are saying that the question here is what limitations clause #4
> > permits on this sentence: ``The license must explicitly permit
> > distribution of software built from modified source code.''  After
> > all, DJB requires his approval for any such distribution.
> Nope, read more closely at
>   Exception: You are permitted to distribute a precompiled var-qmail
>   package if [...list of conditions...]
> The OSD doesn't state that there could be no conditions.

I don't get it.  One of the conditions for distributing a precompiled
package is that the binaries are precisely what would result from
compiling unchanged source code.  That doesn't fit the sentence I
quoted above from OSD clause #4.

(Note that DJB's condition ``produces exactly the same /var/qmail
hierarchy'' implies that it produce the same binaries, as qmail
binaries are installed in /var/qmail/bin.)

> > The intent
> > of clause #4 is presumably that permission beyond adherence to the
> > license itself is not required, and so DJB's license would not adhere.
> I think that page describes sufficiently how to create binaries of
> derivative works; it just doesn't allow source code releases of those
> derivative works, except as pristine source + patches.  Kinda perverse
> that the OSD has this preferential treatment for binaries over source
> releases, IMHO...

No, that page does not permit distribution of binaries of derivative