[ovs-dev] InMon sFlow licence and DFSG

Ben Pfaff blp at nicira.com
Mon Nov 8 21:43:55 UTC 2010

On Tue, Nov 09, 2010 at 06:25:43AM +0900, Simon Horman wrote:
> On Mon, Nov 08, 2010 at 10:11:22AM -0800, Ben Pfaff wrote:
> > On Sat, Nov 06, 2010 at 09:44:48AM +0900, Simon Horman wrote:
> > > I noticed the following clause in the COPYING file and I am wondering
> > > about the compatibility of this licence with the DFSG.
> > > 
> > > Files lib/sflow*.[ch] are licensed under the terms of the InMon sFlow
> > > licence that is available at:
> > >         http://www.inmon.com/technology/sflowlicense.txt
> > 
> > I'm not sure.  We could (probably should) bring it up on debian-legal.
> Ok, good plan. Would you like me to do that?

Yes, please do so if you have time.

> > Peter Phaal from InMon wrote to me privately to mention that the same
> > code is also available under the Adaptive Public License at
> >         http://host-sflow.sourceforge.net/license.html
> > The APL is OSI-certified but I don't see anything in Debian with that
> > license, so I'm unsure whether it's DFSG-free also.
> Do you know specifically which code and are you able to disclose that?

I don't see anything truly private in the email that Peter sent me.  I
was only paraphrasing it out of courtesy, not out of any need to hold
back private information.  Here is the interesting part of the body:

Neil pointed out the question about the sFlow license on the ovs-dev mailing

I took a look at the DFSG terms:

I don't see any incompatibility between the sFlow license and the Debian
Free Software Guidelines. However, since the sFlow license isn't an
officially recognized open source license it might be simpler for the
OVS project to use the same dual licensing scheme that we are using for
the Host sFlow project:

The Adaptive Public License (APL) is an approved open source license:

You can use the following link to reference the APL license for sFlow:

I assume that Peter meant that the entire tarball for the download link
at http://sourceforge.net/projects/host-sflow/ is available under the
Adaptive Public License.  However, that tarball has conflicting
information--the top-level LICENSE says that it is licensed under the
APL, but src/sflow/README and src/sflow/*.c (the files that OVS needs)
say that they are licensed under the InMon sFlow license.  So, if the
InMon sFlow license is not acceptable to Debian, but the APL is, then we
would need to get that clarified.

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