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#1 2010-12-15 08:55:33

rutsky
Member
Registered: 2010-12-15
Posts: 2

Is Spin "open source" in meaning of FSF or OSI?

Hello,

On the front page of web site Spin claims that it is "open source", but according to [url=https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-legal-list/2009-December/msg00040.html][1][/url] and [url=http://lists.debian.org/debian-legal/2004/01/msg00273.html][2][/url] Spin license is not compatible with at least Fedora and Debian distributions in meaning of "free software" (as well as not compatible with Free Software Foundation and Open Source Initiative "open source"/"free software" definitions).

Is Spin intentionally has this limited license?
Will Spin will be licensed under OSI/FSF compatible open source license?

[1] [url]https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-legal-list/2009-December/msg00040.html[/url]
[2] [url]http://lists.debian.org/debian-legal/2004/01/msg00273.html[/url]
Links from [url]http://www.openproofs.org/wiki/Packaging_status#Not_Free.2FLibre.2FOpen_Source_Software_.28FLOSS.29[/url]

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#2 2010-12-15 17:00:23

spinroot
forum
Registered: 2010-11-18
Posts: 691
Website

Re: Is Spin "open source" in meaning of FSF or OSI?

You're right -- it's not the standard version of open source, which is a bit of a pity. Technically, the code is copyrighted by Bell Labs, but freely available. It was virtually impossible to get Bell Labs (or AT&T at the time) to not create its own version of the license text. Note also that Spin was first released in 1990 or thereabouts, before there was a clear preference to something along the lines of OSI/FSF.
In practice though it shouldn't make much difference: you're free to use, modify, and even sell the software provided you make your changes available to everyone. So other than that the license text itself is non-standard, it shouldn't prevent anyone from using the software.

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#3 2010-12-16 19:33:19

rutsky
Member
Registered: 2010-12-15
Posts: 2

Re: Is Spin "open source" in meaning of FSF or OSI?

I'm not a lawyer so I can't tell is used license prevent anyone from freely using of software (freely as using FSF/OSI free software), but it definitely prevents free operating systems distributions (like Debian and Fedora) from including Spin as part of them. It would be much more convenient if interested user would be able to install Spin from his favorite package manager (like "apt-get install spin", or "yum install spin", or from package manager with GUI) without necessity of manual compiling of Spin and installing of dependent packages (like Yacc).

If Spin developers and owners really stand for Open Source it would be nice to see Spin under license that will be publicly accepted as open source license.

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#4 2010-12-17 20:01:36

spinroot
forum
Registered: 2010-11-18
Posts: 691
Website

Re: Is Spin "open source" in meaning of FSF or OSI?

Completely agree -- but we can't do much about this at the moment. Note, though, that the license is only required for commercial use of Spin (i.e., you want to sell products based on it), not for regular research use -- but your point is well taken.

The Plan9 sources (from the same group in Bell Labs as Spin) is distributed under a similar license for commercial use. What can you do.

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