Licensing/Henry Spencer Reg-Ex Library License

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License Notes

This license dates back to 1986, when Henry Spencer posted his regex implementation to usenet under these license terms. The original license text strongly implies that there is a granted right to modify the code under the license terms, but it is not explicit. At some later point (1992-1994), Henry Spencer adjusted the license to correct this ambiguity and clearly grant the right to modify (the license text uses the term "alter"). As a result, we treat both versions of the license as the same, even though the revised version also clarifies that "credits must appear in the documentation" and requires that the license text be preserved intact. A copy of his original license was taken from the perl source code, the revised version was taken from MySQL.

With the utmost possible respect to Henry Spencer, Fedora does not recommend that anyone use his license (original or revised) for new works. Henry's intent in the original license is clear from his revised version and a history of being supportive of its open modification, this would not necessarily be true for other copyright holders. His revised license is an improvement, but its wording is not as clear as other permissive licenses in wider use (BSD/MIT).

We treat this license as Free and GPL compatible (barely).

Fedora packagers who encounter this license should be sure to check the following:

  • If the original license text is in use, please advise upstream of the newer license terms and ask them to apply them.
  • Be sure to include a copy of the newer license terms in the package as %license, to comply with the "documentation" clauses.

Original License Text

Copyright (c) 1986 by University of Toronto.
Written by Henry Spencer.  Not derived from licensed software.

Permission is granted to anyone to use this software for any
purpose on any computer system, and to redistribute it freely,
subject to the following restrictions:

1. The author is not responsible for the consequences of use of
        this software, no matter how awful, even if they arise
        from defects in it.

2. The origin of this software must not be misrepresented, either
        by explicit claim or by omission.

3. Altered versions must be plainly marked as such, and must not
        be misrepresented as being the original software.

Revised License Text

Copyright 1992, 1993, 1994 Henry Spencer.  All rights reserved.
This software is not subject to any license of the American Telephone
and Telegraph Company or of the Regents of the University of California.

Permission is granted to anyone to use this software for any purpose on
any computer system, and to alter it and redistribute it, subject
to the following restrictions:

1. The author is not responsible for the consequences of use of this
   software, no matter how awful, even if they arise from flaws in it.

2. The origin of this software must not be misrepresented, either by
   explicit claim or by omission.  Since few users ever read sources,
   credits must appear in the documentation.

3. Altered versions must be plainly marked as such, and must not be
   misrepresented as being the original software.  Since few users
   ever read sources, credits must appear in the documentation.

4. This notice may not be removed or altered.