Non-free (?) license found in SRFI 125, SRFI 126 Maxim Cournoyer 13 Dec 2023 05:11 UTC


I'd like to bring to your attention a potential licensing problem I've
found and have been trying to understand better: some SRFIs [0, 1]
contain code originating from Will Clinger, whose license reads:

--8<---------------cut here---------------start------------->8---
;;; Permission to copy this software, in whole or in part, to use this
;;; software for any lawful purpose, and to redistribute this software
;;; is granted subject to the restriction that all copies made of this
;;; software must include this copyright and permission notice in full.
;;; I also request that you send me a copy of any improvements that you
;;; make to this software so that they may be incorporated within it to
;;; the benefit of the Scheme community.
--8<---------------cut here---------------end--------------->8---

The problematic part would be the restriction on use to "lawful
purpose", which is incompatible with the freedom 0 [2] granted by free
software licenses such as the GNU Public License or Expat (MIT) license
used by most SRFIs.

I've reached to the author to see if they'd agree to drop this
restriction or change the license to Expat (MIT).

Interestingly, this same restriction had found its way in 1998 in
ice-9/psyntax.scm in GNU Guile, but it was deemed not an issue at the
time (rationale unknown, perhaps because the licensed code was in small
amount in the file, which contains various other licenses) [3].