[pkg-boost-devel] Bug#349209: boost: Boost Graph Library is non-free and undistributable in compiled form

Francesco Poli frx at firenze.linux.it
Sat Jan 21 15:21:38 UTC 2006

Package: boost
Version: 1.33.1-2
Severity: serious
Justification: Policy 2.2.1


According to boost debian/copyright file, the
Boost Graph library does not seem to comply with the DFSG.
What is worse, it seems there's no permission to distribute
the Boost Graph Library in compiled form.

Upstream should be contacted and persuaded to relicense it
in a DFSG-free manner: I would suggest switching to the
Boost Software License - Version 1.0 in order to enhance
uniformity with other Boost.org libraries.

If otherwise upstream cannot be persuaded to fix the license,
the Boost Graph Library should be removed from the package
(or possibly moved to non-free *and* distributed in source
form only).

Boost Graph Library license, as quoted in debian/copyright,
reads as follows (comments mine):

| Copyright 1997-2000, University of Notre Dame.
| Authors: Andrew Lumsdaine, Lie-Quan Lee, Jeremy G. Siek
| The Boost Graph Library "Artistic License"
| Preamble
| The intent of this document is to state the conditions under which a
| Package may be copied, such that the Copyright Holder maintains some
| semblance of artistic control over the development of the package,
| while giving the users of the package the right to use and distribute
| the Package in a more-or-less free fashion, plus the right to make
| reasonable modifications.
| Definitions
| "Package" refers to the collection of files distributed by the
| Copyright Holder, and derivatives of that collection of files created
| through textual modification.
| "Standard Version" refers to such a Package if it has not been
| modified, or has been modified in accordance with the wishes of the
| Copyright Holder as specified below.
| "Copyright Holder" is whoever is named in the copyright or copyrights for the package. 
| "You" is you, if you're thinking about copying or distributing this Package. 
| "Reasonable copying fee" is whatever you can justify on the basis of
| media cost, duplication charges, time of people involved, and so
| on. (You will not be required to justify it to the Copyright Holder,
| but only to the computing community at large as a market that must
| bear the fee.)
| "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.
| 1. You may make and give away verbatim copies of the source form of
| the Standard Version of this Package without restriction, provided
| that you duplicate all of the original copyright notices and
| associated disclaimers.

We are granted permission to distribute verbatim copies in source form.

| 2. You may apply bug fixes, portability fixes and other modifications
| derived from the Public Domain or from the Copyright Holder. A Package
| modified in such a way shall still be considered the Standard Version. 
| 3. You may otherwise modify your copy of this Package in any way,
| provided that you insert a prominent notice in each changed file
| stating how and when you changed that file, and provided that you do
| at least ONE of the following:
|   a. place your modifications in the Public Domain or otherwise make
|     them Freely Available, such as by posting said modifications to Usenet
|     or an equivalent medium, or placing the modifications on a major
|     archive site such as uunet.uu.net, or by allowing the Copyright Holder
|     to include your modifications in the Standard Version of the Package.
|   b. use the modified Package only within your corporation or organization. 
|   c. rename any non-standard types and functions so the names do not
|     conflict with Standard Vibrary, which must also be provided, and
|     provide a separate documentation for each non-standard type of function
|     that clearly documents how it differs from the Standard Version.
|   d. make other distribution arrangements with the Copyright Holder. 
| 4. You may charge a reasonable copying fee for any distribution of this
| Package. You may charge any fee you choose for support of this
| Package. You may not charge a fee for this Package itself. However,
| you may distribute this Package in aggregate with other (possibly
| commercial) programs as part of a larger (possibly commercial)
| software distribution provided that you do not advertise this Package
| as a product of your own. 
| 5. The name of the Copyright Holder may not be used to endorse or
| promote products derived from this software without specific prior
| written permission.

End of permission grants: I failed to find any permission to distribute
the library in compiled or object form.
It seems that the Debian project is currently violating University of
Notre Dame's copyright!!

| By way of example, but not limitation, Licensor MAKES NO
| The Authors and the University of Notre Dame du Lac shall not be held
| liable for any liability nor for any direct, indirect or consequential
| damages with respect to any claim by LICENSEE or any third party on
| account of or arising from this Agreement or use of this software.
| Any disputes arising out of this Agreement or LICENSEE'S use of the
| software at any time shall be resolved by the courts of the state of
| Indiana.  LICENSEE hereby consents to the jurisdiction of the Indiana
| courts and waives the right to challenge the jurisdiction thereof in
| any dispute arising out of this Agreement or Licensee's use of the
| software.

This is a choice of venue, which is considered non-free by many
debian-legal regulars (including myself...).
People who accept this license may be forced to travel to the state
of Indiana, whenever the copyright holder decides to sue them (even
for frivolous claims, even if they live on the other side of the
ocean). This is a significant restriction on the exercise of the
rights granted by the license.

More information about the pkg-boost-devel mailing list