copyright issues in kdebase/nsplugins

Zack Cerza zcerza at
Tue Aug 9 19:00:46 BST 2005

On 2005-08-04 9:42:08 Waldo wrote:
> On Thursday 04 August 2005 00:42, Zack Cerza wrote:
> > So, I'm crossposting this to kde-licensing and k-c-d, because it clearly
> > belongs in the former, but I'm afraid nobody will see it there, just
> > judging by its archives. If that's inappropriate, I'm sorry. :)
> >
> > While trying to sort out some copyright issues in kaffeine-mozilla [0], it
> > was noted that some of the same issues exist in kdebase/nsplugins. The
> > summary:
> >
> > zack at gaz nsplugins =) % grep -ir 'all rights reserved' * | grep -v
> > '/\.svn/' sdk/jni.h: * Copyright (c) 1993-1996 Sun Microsystems, Inc. All
> > Rights Reserved.
> That's just boilerplate. If you look a few lines done you will notice (at 
> least in some cases) a license, that's the interesting part. What strikes me 
> is that the sdk/README says that it is part of the Netscape SDK but that 
> there is no license info related to that SDK and that the Sun file says "for 
> NON-COMMERCIAL purposes"

Oh, I guess I did get a reply. I just pasted this in and quoted it manually, 
and threading is broken. Oh well. I'm also re-CCing to kde-licensing, and 
CCing to debian-qt-kde at .

"All Rights Reserved" might be boilerplate, but it is boilerplate designed to 
protect the copyright holder. In the absense of actual license text, I'm not 
sure such files can be legally distributed. As for the only-non-commercial 
licenses, well, they fail every open source/free software definition I've 
ever seen. Here is a breakdown of the files in kdebase/nsplugins/sdk:

jni.h jni_md.h - (C) Sun - "All Rights Reserved" and use is only granted for 
non-commercial purposes. It looks like commercial distros can't use these 
jri.h jri_md.h jritypes.h - (C) Netscape - "All Rights Reserved" and no other 
license information. These files are not even distributable.
npapi.h npupp.h - No copyright information.

Also, kdebase/nsplugins/wrapper/wrapper.c has no copyright information.

But no, I'm not a lawyer, so I could somehow be wrong about this stuff. Please 
keep me CCed on the KDE lists, though, because I'm not subscribed.


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