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zlib and libpng licenses clarification


Jilayne Lovejoy <Jlovejoy@...>
 

 

I had a question regarding clarifying the zlib and libpng licenses versus what the OSI lists as the zlib/libpng license on their list.  Perhaps Tom, Martin, or Jeff can shed some light on this?  

 

The zlib license can be found here:  http://www.zlib.net/zlib_license.html

The libpng license can be found here:  http://www.libpng.org/pub/png/src/libpng-LICENSE.txt

 

It appears that the license terms themselves are essentially the same, with the exception of a longer explanation for clause 1 in the zlib license and a lengthier disclaimer statement in the libpng license.  Also, the libpng license includes the applicable attribution notices for the various project versions.  

 

Whereas, the OSI has what I would call a generic (no copyright notice at all, nor author name) version of the zlib license.  Yet, OSI lists one, which tracks most closely to the zlib license and calls it zlib/libpng:  http://www.opensource.org/licenses/zlib-license.php

 

Does anyone have any insight as to why this is this way on the OSI list?  More importantly, how should we handle this for our list?  List all three variations (what the OSI refers to as zlib/libpng and then the specific zlib and libpng separately) or just the OSI version or what?

 

I will post the latest version of the license list (with other changes as discussed in the last few meetings) after this question is resolved.

 

Thanks!

 

Jilayne Lovejoy  |  Corporate Counsel

jlovejoy@...

 

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Tom "spot" Callaway
 

On 12/20/2010 10:26 PM, Jilayne Lovejoy wrote:
It appears that the license terms themselves are essentially the same,
with the exception of a longer explanation for clause 1 in the zlib
license and a lengthier disclaimer statement in the libpng license.
Also, the libpng license includes the applicable attribution notices
for the various project versions.
Fedora treats these two licenses as functionally identical, and calls
them both "zlib".

The third license looks to just be a templated version of the zlib license.

~tom

==
Fedora Project


Jilayne Lovejoy <Jlovejoy@...>
 

So, do you think we should only list the OSI template version, using
their name, "zlib/libpng license" and not include the two
package-specific licenses on our initial list?

Jilayne

-----Original Message-----
From: Tom Callaway [mailto:tcallawa@...]
Sent: Tuesday, December 21, 2010 8:06 AM
To: Jilayne Lovejoy
Cc: spdx@...; Martin Michlmayr; jeff@...
Subject: Re: zlib and libpng licenses clarification

On 12/20/2010 10:26 PM, Jilayne Lovejoy wrote:
It appears that the license terms themselves are essentially the same,
with the exception of a longer explanation for clause 1 in the zlib
license and a lengthier disclaimer statement in the libpng license.
Also, the libpng license includes the applicable attribution notices
for the various project versions.
Fedora treats these two licenses as functionally identical, and calls
them both "zlib".

The third license looks to just be a templated version of the zlib
license.

~tom

==
Fedora Project


Tom "spot" Callaway
 

On 12/21/2010 06:43 PM, Jilayne Lovejoy wrote:
So, do you think we should only list the OSI template version, using
their name, "zlib/libpng license" and not include the two
package-specific licenses on our initial list?
Yes, but I think the general trend for the SPDX initiative has been that
any difference in wording (with the possible exception of copyright
holder identifiers), even if it has no effect on the rights or
restrictions of the license, should be a separate and distinct license
for tracking purposes.

I happen to think that approach spirals off into absurdity, but that's
just my opinion. :)

~tom

==
Fedora Project


Soeren_Rabenstein@...
 

This is related to my question in the last legal team conference call:
How to deal with the billions of 'BSD-style'-licenses, the only
difference of which is the Copyright notice?
The answer was to come up with a license template concept. If I
understand this right, we are going to define the reference license text
of those licenses with a variable data field included in the text. Is
this right?

Cheers
Soeren

-----Original Message-----
From: spdx-bounces@... [mailto:spdx-bounces@...]
On Behalf Of Tom Callaway
Sent: Wednesday, December 22, 2010 9:20 AM
To: Jilayne Lovejoy
Cc: spdx@...
Subject: Re: zlib and libpng licenses clarification

On 12/21/2010 06:43 PM, Jilayne Lovejoy wrote:
So, do you think we should only list the OSI template version, using
their name, "zlib/libpng license" and not include the two
package-specific licenses on our initial list?
Yes, but I think the general trend for the SPDX initiative has been
that
any difference in wording (with the possible exception of copyright
holder identifiers), even if it has no effect on the rights or
restrictions of the license, should be a separate and distinct license
for tracking purposes.

I happen to think that approach spirals off into absurdity, but that's
just my opinion. :)

~tom

==
Fedora Project
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Tom "spot" Callaway
 

On 12/21/2010 09:14 PM, Soeren_Rabenstein@... wrote:
This is related to my question in the last legal team conference call:
How to deal with the billions of 'BSD-style'-licenses, the only
difference of which is the Copyright notice?
The answer was to come up with a license template concept. If I
understand this right, we are going to define the reference license text
of those licenses with a variable data field included in the text. Is
this right?
Sure, but in the case of libpng's license, the difference is more
significant than Copyright holder identifiers. It doesn't fundamentally
change the license's meaning, but it is technically different text, even
if templated.

~tom

==
Fedora Project


Jilayne Lovejoy <Jlovejoy@...>
 

Instead of all three variations, we could just have the OSI one, which
is basically the zlib license template (no specific copyright) and then
the specific libpng license, since it does have some other text
differences. In which case, we might simply call it the "zlib" license
instead of the OSI's "zlib/libpng" license, which is a bit confusing.

Thoughts?

I'd like to get the latest version of the license list uploaded
tomorrow, if possible, pending this issue :)

Jilayne

-----Original Message-----
From: Tom Callaway [mailto:tcallawa@...]
Sent: Tuesday, December 21, 2010 8:27 PM
To: Soeren_Rabenstein@...
Cc: Jilayne Lovejoy; spdx@...
Subject: Re: zlib and libpng licenses clarification

On 12/21/2010 09:14 PM, Soeren_Rabenstein@... wrote:
This is related to my question in the last legal team conference call:
How to deal with the billions of 'BSD-style'-licenses, the only
difference of which is the Copyright notice?
The answer was to come up with a license template concept. If I
understand this right, we are going to define the reference license
text
of those licenses with a variable data field included in the text. Is
this right?
Sure, but in the case of libpng's license, the difference is more
significant than Copyright holder identifiers. It doesn't fundamentally
change the license's meaning, but it is technically different text, even
if templated.

~tom

==
Fedora Project


Tom "spot" Callaway
 

On 12/22/2010 07:37 PM, Jilayne Lovejoy wrote:
Instead of all three variations, we could just have the OSI one, which
is basically the zlib license template (no specific copyright) and then
the specific libpng license, since it does have some other text
differences. In which case, we might simply call it the "zlib" license
instead of the OSI's "zlib/libpng" license, which is a bit confusing.

Thoughts?
For SPDX, I suppose it makes sense to take the templated zlib and call
it "zlib", and call the libpng variant "libpng", even though I don't
think Fedora will ever make that distinction.

~tom

==
Fedora Project