[Python-Dev] license issues with profiler.py and md5.h/md5c.c

Tim Peters tim.peters at gmail.com
Tue Feb 8 21:37:50 CET 2005

[Matthias Klose]
> A Debian user pointed out (http://bugs.debian.org/293932), that the
> current license for the Python profiler is not conforming to the DFSG
> (Debian free software guidelines).
> http://www.python.org/doc/current/lib/node829.html states
>  "This permission is explicitly restricted to the copying and
>  modification of the software to remain in Python, compiled Python,
>  or other languages (such as C) wherein the modified or derived code
>  is exclusively imported into a Python module."
> - Does somebody knows about the history of this license, why it is
>  more restricted than the Python license?

Simply because that's the license Jim Roskind slapped on it when he
contributed this code 10 years ago.  I imagine (but don't know) that
Guido looked at it, thought "hmm -- shouldn't be a problem for
Python's users", and so accepted it.

> - Is there a chance to change the license for these two modules
>  (profile.py, pstats.py)?

Not unless some remnant of InfoSeek Corp can be found, since they're
the copyright holder (their work, their license).  Alas, Jim Roskind
hasn't been seen in the Python world this century.

OTOH, if InfoSeek has vanished, it's unlikely they'll be suing anyone.
 Given how Python-specific profile.py and pstats.py are, it's hard for
me to imagine anyone wanting to make a derivative that isn't imported
into a Python module.  In that respect it seems like a license clause
that forbids you to run the software while the tip of your tongue is
licking the back of your own neck.

Still, if that matters, perhaps Debian will need to leave these
modules out.  Bold <ahem> users will still be able to grab them from
any number of other places.

More information about the Python-Dev mailing list