[License-discuss] Is the old style MIT license a Free Software license

Johnny Solbu johnny at solbu.net
Mon Mar 12 14:47:47 UTC 2012


Hi.
I tried maling FSFs licensing department, but the FSFs website says something to the effect that if they have answered the question on their webpage, the mail will be unanswered, and I have not received a reply. So I'm asuming it is answered on their website. However I cannot find the answer to this specific question, and Google is of no help. So I'm trying this list instead.

I am packaging an old game I recently discovered, which is still in active development.
The game (netrek-client-cow) have MIT or an MIT-like license (at least I think it's MIT), which have a "and without fee" clause. And I am unsure whether that this clause is compatible with Free Software or not. To someone like me, this looks like what we today call a no commercial clause.
I have discovered that it most likely is what Fedora call MIT old style. (http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Licensing:MIT#Old_Style)

So my question is, is this a Free Software license?

There is two license text files, one is possibly newer that the other. At least one of the licence files seems to be from 1986, and the other from 1989.
The license text in full reads:
== 1 ==
Permission to use, copy, modify, and distribute this
software and its documentation for any purpose and without
fee is hereby granted, provided that the above copyright
notice appear in all copies.
====
== 2 ==
Permission to use, copy, modify, and distribute this software and its
documentation for any purpose and without fee is hereby granted, provided
that the above copyright notice appear in all copies and that both that
copyright notice and this permission notice appear in supporting
documentation.  No representations are made about the suitability of this
software for any purpose.  It is provided "as is" without express or
implied warranty.
====

-- 
Johnny A. Solbu
web site,   http://www.solbu.net
PGP key ID: 0xFA687324
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