Remove reference to proprietary Aladdin Free Public License (AFPL)

Catégorie:Rapporter un bogue
Attribué:Non assigné

Aladdin Free Public License (AFPL) is a proprietary license under

It is mentioned in the copyright documents of 'ghostscript'(PATH: /usr/share/doc/ghostscript/copyright) and 'ghostscript-x'(PATH: /usr/share/doc/ghostscript-x/copyright)

Since ghostscript package no longer uses the propritory Aladdin Free Public License (AFPL) and replaces it with GNU GPLv2/3, the documentation may be updated.

jeu, 01/22/2015 - 00:26

Those files are actually dual-licensed under (A)GPL and AFPL.

jeu, 01/22/2015 - 07:04

@Legimet: Yes, You are right. Thank you for correcting me.

In fact I informed about this dual-licensing of Ghostscript to Dr.Richard M. Stallman, Founder and President of Free Software Foundation.

He instantly got interested and was curious to know whether the proprietary AFPL reference is removable from free versions. Putting it in his own words "we can delete mention of the AFPL from the free version, if no one can stop us from doing so." He even offered to discuss it with the person who handles the free version.

AFPL Ghostscript is now abandoned; at least for AGPL Ghostscript, the canonical variant which I presume, we presently use. You can read more from the Wiki page:

Hopefully we will receive a more Freedom Respecting Ghostscript from the concerned maintainer.

jeu, 01/22/2015 - 22:43

Does it really matter if those few files are dual-licensed? The user can choose the terms of either license. I guess it wouldn't hurt to get rid of the AFPL though.

ven, 01/23/2015 - 11:56

Aladdin Free Public Lisence (AFPL) does not allow charging for distribution, and prohibits simply packaging software licensed under it with anything for which a charge is made.

This violates freedom 2 and 3 (Freedom to (re)distribute copies, either with or without modifications, *EITHER GRATIS OR CHARGING A FEE FOR THE DISTRIBUTION*, to anyone, anywhere.) of the four essential free software freedoms.


GNU Project has a free version of Ghostscript known as GNU Ghostscript, maintained by a team of GNU programmers. It is distributed under the GNU General Public License. The AGPL Ghostscript from canonical, is covered by Affero General Public License, a Free license.


It is unfair to stick with a dual-licensing scheme where one license is freedom-denying; especially when varients with exclusive free licenses are available.

Sam, 01/24/2015 - 01:03

I get the point that AFPL is nonfree, but how is a dual-licensing scheme freedom-denying? The user can choose the terms of either the GPL or AFPL. The user can exercise his freedoms by choosing the GPL. And guess what? GNU Ghostscript also includes those files, with the GPL and AFPL.

Sam, 01/24/2015 - 09:08

> GNU Ghostscript also includes those files, with the GPL and AFPL.


But Dr. Richard M Stallman, Founder and President of GNU Project, has initiated a discussion with the respective maintainer of free version of Ghostscript to know is it *LEGALLY VALID* to remove reference of AFPL from GNU Ghostscript.

> The user can choose the terms of either the GPL or AFPL.

Do you know that AFPL is now **ABANDONED** for AGPL Ghostscript (the canonical variant) which Trisquel GNU/Linux uses? [1]
Also, the leading edge of Ghostscript development is now under GPL license. [2]



Sam, 01/24/2015 - 22:25

Yes, I know. It's old news. Only a few files are dual-licensed.

lun, 01/26/2015 - 13:19
Catégorie:Demande d'amélioration» Rapporter un bogue
Priorité:normal» blocking

[UPDATE:] Dr Richard Stallman has confirmed AFPL is obsolete. GNU Ghostscript does not use AFPL anymore. (Making clear that the reference to AFPL in copyright documents in it CAN BE REMOVED.)

But unfortunately, GNU Ghostscript contains nonfree program(s). Perhaps I infer the upstream (AGPL Ghostscript) should have inherited this blob from artifex.

Some files in copyright document of ghostscript are unlicensed; This is violation in terms of GNU Free Software Distribution Guidelines.

PFA file named unlicensed_ghostscript_files.txt for more details.

[CHANGELOG:] Changing priority to 'blocking' and Category to 'bug report'.

Fichier attachéTaille
unlicensed_ghostscript_files.txt 1.04 Ko
jeu, 01/29/2015 - 00:27

Those are documentation files, not programs, and can easily be removed. The first two .eps files aren't even there. The file is clearly nonfree, but the .euc and .txt files seem to be (GPL-licensed?) README's. I think you should report this upstream (to Debian).

EDIT: BTW, the source package is ghostscript.