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Re: License Issue

From: Bruce Momjian <bruce(at)momjian(dot)us>
To: "May, Randy" <Randy(dot)May(at)Teradata(dot)com>
Cc: pgsql-admin(at)postgresql(dot)org
Subject: Re: License Issue
Date: 2009-04-21 15:42:11
Message-ID: 200904211542.n3LFgBe26698@momjian.us (view raw or flat)
Thread:
Lists: pgsql-adminpgsql-hackers
May, Randy wrote:
> PostGresQL Admin,
> 
>  
> 
> I am part of an organization that is beginning to write commercial
> applications for various Portals (Liferay, etc.).  We would like to be
> able to deploy PostGresQL as the lightweight database for the Portal to
> connect to.  Our request for approval to our Legal Department has
> stalled due to the following language in one of the files:
> 
>  
> 
> File: src/backend/port/dynloader/readme.dlfcn.aix

The actual file name, case-sensitive, is:

	File: src/backend/port/dynloader/README.dlfcn.aix

> Language: "Permission is granted to freely use, copy, modify, and
> redistribute this software, provided that no attempt is made to gain
> profit from it..."
> 
>  
> 
> We are not planning to modify PostGreSQL, nor charging for support
> services.
> 
>  
> 
> Given that we are building commercial applications, can I get
> confirmation that we allowed to use (in-house) and deploy (to our
> customers) PostGresQL to support our applications?

Wow, I don't remember anyone seeing that before, and am sure it would
have been an issue if they had seen it because it has been in the source
tree since 1997/12/19. And aix.[ch] have unusual copyrights:

	 * @(#)dlfcn.h  1.4 revision of 95/04/25  09:36:52
	 * This is an unpublished work copyright (c) 1992 HELIOS Software GmbH
	 * 30159 Hannover, Germany

What does "unpublished work" mean?  I assume the copyright in the README
is meant to apply to the aix.[ch] files based on it being the same
company name, and AIX.

Obviously the license only applies to AIX but I wonder if we should just
remove the files at some point and require an AIX user to reimplement
this.  I see a mention of the copyright from 1999:

	http://archives.postgresql.org/pgsql-hackers/1999-12/msg00747.php

and another in 2007:

	http://archives.postgresql.org/pgsql-hackers/2007-03/msg01450.php

but no one seems to have noticed the README text.

I think this got missed because it starts out like a BSD license, then
has the "no profit" clause added:

	Permission is granted to freely use, copy, modify, and redistribute
	this software, provided that no attempt is made to gain profit from it,
	the author is not construed to be liable for any results of using the
	software, alterations are clearly marked as such, and this notice is
	not modified.

Can someone contat the author company?  I think this is them:

	http://www.helios.de/

	HELIOS Software GmbH
	Steinriede 3
	D-30827 Garbsen, Germany
	Phone: +49 5131 709320

-- 
  Bruce Momjian  <bruce(at)momjian(dot)us>        http://momjian.us
  EnterpriseDB                             http://enterprisedb.com

  + If your life is a hard drive, Christ can be your backup. +

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