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Re: Re: Encrypted Perl?

by premchai21 (Curate)
on Feb 06, 2003 at 17:00 UTC ( #233193=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Re: Encrypted Perl?
in thread Encrypted Perl?

IANAL, but I have the distinct feeling that if the source for the modifications were not released (update: and the differences were not documented), such would be a violation of perl's license.

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Re: Re: Re: Encrypted Perl?
by demerphq (Chancellor) on Feb 06, 2003 at 17:31 UTC
    You'd be wrong. The PAL allows this type of thing.

    --- demerphq
    my friends call me, usually because I'm late....

      Missed a piece of the disjunction. Clarified.

      AFAICT, modifications can be carried out, according to the Artistic License (clause 3), only if they are at least one of the following:

      • only used within one organization, which is not the case here;
      • renamed, with differences documented, which is the case I added above;
      • placed in the public domain or otherwise made freely available, which is a bit tricky -- see below;
      • otherwise approved by the copyright holder, which I assume is not the case as such would generally override other licensing anyway.

      "Freely available" is a bit unclear. I take this to mean that the nature of the modifications should be visible, and that not just an altered executable with no documentation or source would suffice; it seems as though it could go either way. However, the other requirement for modification (placing a prominent notice in each modified file stating how and when it was changed), seems as though it would preclude this.

      Clause 4 states that one may distribute the programs in object or executable form if one does at least one of the following:

      • distribute a standard version alongside, which seems to defeat the point;
      • accompany the distribution with machine-readable source, which is my original case;
      • rename the non-standard executables, and clearly document the differences, which is my updated case;
      • get other approval from the copyright holder, which see above.

      Again, it appears somewhat ambiguous -- clause 4 mentions executables, and clause 3 mentions modifications, and they would seem to be disjoint from each other. Depending on the method of implementation, it may hinge on which takes priority over the other, which is not specified anywhere...

      ... so, in other words, I was wrong initially, and from what information I can get might still be wrong, but also might not be. Hmm.

      Update: and yes, I'm wrong again. Node left as a record.

        Also, don't forget that no matter what, you are unlikely to be sued. Larry didn't write a waterproof, lawyer certified, do-what-I-want-or-I'll-sue-you restrictive license, like RMS did. Larry wrote a statement of intent. Basically, what Larry said was "I made this piece of software. I'm nice, so I make it freely available. I like you to be nice to". Not a "you have to be as nice as I was".

        Also note that when the AL speaks of making modifications available, it nowhere states that those modifications shall be under the AL.

        You say that "freely available" is a bit unclear, and you offer an interpretation. Now, the AL is unclear in many respects, but not about its notion of "freely available". It even defines the term:

                "Freely Available" means that no fee is charged for the item
                itself, though there may be fees involved in handling the item.
                It also means that recipients of the item may redistribute it
                under the same conditions they received it.


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