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Fwd: [OctDev] libcruft/amos - nonfree Bessel code in Octave?

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Fwd: [OctDev] libcruft/amos - nonfree Bessel code in Octave?

Jordi Gutiérrez Hermoso-2
Forwarded from the weirdly-named "octave development" list from OF to
the actual maintainers' list.

HTH,
- Jordi G. H.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Steven G. Johnson <[hidden email]>
Date: 9 August 2012 16:31
Subject: [OctDev] libcruft/amos - nonfree Bessel code in Octave?
To: [hidden email]


Dear Octave developers,

I was looking for a complex-argument Bessel-function code to use in our
own free-software package, and I noticed that Octave is using the "amos"
software (by Don. Amos).

However, I am concerned that the amos software may be non-free.  This
software can also be found on Netlib (http://netlib.org/amos/), which
says that they are derived from TOMS Algorithm 644:

        http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=214331

Unfortunately, all of the software in TOMS (ACM Transactions on
Mathematical Software) is by default non-free, since the ACM license
allows only noncommercial use:
        http://www.acm.org/publications/policies/softwarecrnotice
(Note that ACM also claims copyright ownership of all TOMS code, since
authors are required to make a copyright assignment to ACM prior to
publication.)

Have the Octave authors or the FSF investigated this and found a way to
distribute the amos software legally under the GPL?   (In some
circumstances, the ACM has granted waivers of its copyright policy, see
e.g. http://projects.scipy.org/scipy/changeset/6120 for a different TOMS
package.)

Regards,
Steven G. Johnson


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