ACM Software Copyright and License Agreement

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ACM Software Copyright and License Agreement

Hans W Borchers
ACM Software Copyright and License Agreement

I have often seen the use of routines from the ACM Collected Algorithms, i.e.
<netlib.org/toms/> (CALGO, or Trans. On Math. Software, TOMS), in Open Source
programs, maybe also in some R packages --- and sometimes these programs are
distributed under the GPL license, sometimes under proprietary licenses, e.g.
in Scilab.

The use of these CALGO programs is subject to the ACM Software Copyright and
License Agreement <www.acm.org/publications/policies/softwarecrnotice> which
includes the following paragraph:

    **Commercial Use**
    Any User wishing to make a commercial use of the Software must contact
    ACM at [hidden email] to arrange an appropriate license. Commercial
    use includes
    (1) integrating or incorporating all or part of the source code into a
    product for sale or license by, or on behalf of, User to third parties, or
    (2) distribution of the binary or source code to third parties for use
    with a commercial product sold or licensed by, or on behalf of, User.

I assume that this license extension is not compatible with GPL, but I may be
wrong here. So my question is: Can software from the ACM Collected Algorithms
be distributed under a GPL-compatible licence, and how to formulate and where
to put such a license extension.

Thanks
Hans Werner

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Re: ACM Software Copyright and License Agreement

Berend Hasselman

On 16-02-2012, at 12:31, Hans W Borchers wrote:

> ACM Software Copyright and License Agreement
>
> I have often seen the use of routines from the ACM Collected Algorithms, i.e.
> <netlib.org/toms/> (CALGO, or Trans. On Math. Software, TOMS), in Open Source
> programs, maybe also in some R packages

I use a modified version of portions of Algorithm 686 (22 years old)(Fortran for updating a QR decomposition) in my package nleqslv, which is distributed under GPL>=2.

> --- and sometimes these programs are
> distributed under the GPL license, sometimes under proprietary licenses, e.g.
> in Scilab.
>
> The use of these CALGO programs is subject to the ACM Software Copyright and
> License Agreement <www.acm.org/publications/policies/softwarecrnotice> which
> includes the following paragraph:
>
>    **Commercial Use**
>    Any User wishing to make a commercial use of the Software must contact
>    ACM at [hidden email] to arrange an appropriate license. Commercial
>    use includes
>    (1) integrating or incorporating all or part of the source code into a
>    product for sale or license by, or on behalf of, User to third parties, or
>    (2) distribution of the binary or source code to third parties for use
>    with a commercial product sold or licensed by, or on behalf of, User.
>
> I assume that this license extension is not compatible with GPL, but I may be
> wrong here. So my question is: Can software from the ACM Collected Algorithms
> be distributed under a GPL-compatible licence, and how to formulate and where
> to put such a license extension.

So I am certainly interested in what experts have to say about this.

Berend

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Re: ACM Software Copyright and License Agreement

Peter Dalgaard-2
In reply to this post by Hans W Borchers

On Feb 16, 2012, at 12:31 , Hans W Borchers wrote:

> ACM Software Copyright and License Agreement
>
> I have often seen the use of routines from the ACM Collected Algorithms, i.e.
> <netlib.org/toms/> (CALGO, or Trans. On Math. Software, TOMS), in Open Source
> programs, maybe also in some R packages --- and sometimes these programs are
> distributed under the GPL license, sometimes under proprietary licenses, e.g.
> in Scilab.
>
> The use of these CALGO programs is subject to the ACM Software Copyright and
> License Agreement <www.acm.org/publications/policies/softwarecrnotice> which
> includes the following paragraph:
>
>    **Commercial Use**
>    Any User wishing to make a commercial use of the Software must contact
>    ACM at [hidden email] to arrange an appropriate license. Commercial
>    use includes
>    (1) integrating or incorporating all or part of the source code into a
>    product for sale or license by, or on behalf of, User to third parties, or
>    (2) distribution of the binary or source code to third parties for use
>    with a commercial product sold or licensed by, or on behalf of, User.
>
> I assume that this license extension is not compatible with GPL, but I may be
> wrong here. So my question is: Can software from the ACM Collected Algorithms
> be distributed under a GPL-compatible licence, and how to formulate and where
> to put such a license extension.

One needs to tread _really_ carefully with these items.

You plain can't claim that the ACM license is compatible with the GPL; it just isn't. However, there are cases where software has been placed in the Public Domain in addition to being published by an ACM Journal. E.g., the NSWC (Naval Surface Warfare Center) library is in the Public Domain even though some of its routines have been published in TOMS.

However, I am not a lawyer, etc...

-pd


>
> Thanks
> Hans Werner
>
> ______________________________________________
> [hidden email] mailing list
> https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-help
> PLEASE do read the posting guide http://www.R-project.org/posting-guide.html
> and provide commented, minimal, self-contained, reproducible code.

--
Peter Dalgaard, Professor
Center for Statistics, Copenhagen Business School
Solbjerg Plads 3, 2000 Frederiksberg, Denmark
Phone: (+45)38153501
Email: [hidden email]  Priv: [hidden email]

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Re: ACM Software Copyright and License Agreement

Berend Hasselman
In reply to this post by Hans W Borchers

On 16-02-2012, at 12:31, Hans W Borchers wrote:

> ACM Software Copyright and License Agreement
>
> I have often seen the use of routines from the ACM Collected Algorithms, i.e.
> <netlib.org/toms/> (CALGO, or Trans. On Math. Software, TOMS), in Open Source
> programs, maybe also in some R packages --- and sometimes these programs are
> distributed under the GPL license, sometimes under proprietary licenses, e.g.
> in Scilab.
>
> The use of these CALGO programs is subject to the ACM Software Copyright and
> License Agreement <www.acm.org/publications/policies/softwarecrnotice> which
> includes the following paragraph:
>
>    **Commercial Use**
>    Any User wishing to make a commercial use of the Software must contact
>    ACM at [hidden email] to arrange an appropriate license. Commercial
>    use includes
>    (1) integrating or incorporating all or part of the source code into a
>    product for sale or license by, or on behalf of, User to third parties, or
>    (2) distribution of the binary or source code to third parties for use
>    with a commercial product sold or licensed by, or on behalf of, User.
>
In addition there is item 4 in the section  **Noncommercial use**

"User may modify the Software and distribute that modified work to third parties provided that: (a) if posted separately, it clearly acknowledges that it contains material copyrighted by ACM (b) no charge is associated with such copies, (c) User agrees to notify ACM and the Author(s) of the distribution, and (d) User clearly notifies secondary users that such modified work is not the original Software."

For nleqslv I have not complied with item (c) . H'm.

Berend

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Re: ACM Software Copyright and License Agreement

Hans W Borchers
In reply to this post by Peter Dalgaard-2
peter dalgaard <pdalgd <at> gmail.com> writes:

> On Feb 16, 2012, at 12:31 , Hans W Borchers wrote:
>
> > I have often seen the use of routines from the ACM Collected Algorithms,
> > i.e. <netlib.org/toms/≥ (CALGO, or Trans. On Math. Software, TOMS), in
> > Open Source programs, maybe also in some R packages --- and sometimes
> > these programs are distributed under the GPL license, sometimes under
> > proprietary licenses, e.g. in Scilab.
> >
> > The use of these CALGO programs is subject to the ACM Software Copyright
> > and License Agreement <www.acm.org/publications/policies/softwarecrnotice>
> > which includes the following paragraph:
> >
> >    **Commercial Use**
> >    Any User wishing to make a commercial use of the Software must contact
> >    ACM at permissions <at> acm.org to arrange an appropriate license.
> >    Commercial use includes
> >    (1) integrating or incorporating all or part of the source code into a
> >    product for sale or license by, or on behalf of, User to third parties,
> >    (2) distribution of the binary or source code to third parties for use
> >    with a commercial product sold or licensed by, or on behalf of, User.
> >
> > I assume that this license extension is not compatible with GPL, but may
> > be wrong here. So my question is: Can software from the ACM Collected
> > Algorithms be distributed under a GPL-compatible licence, and how to
> > formulate and where to put such a license extension.
>
> One needs to tread _really_ carefully with these items.
>
> You plain can't claim that the ACM license is compatible with the GPL; it
> just isn't. However, there are cases where software has been placed in the
> Public Domain in addition to being published by an ACM Journal. E.g., the
> NSWC (Naval Surface Warfare Center) library is in the Public Domain even
> though some of its routines have been published in TOMS.

And how can I be sure that these algorithms have been rightly placed on the
NSWC library page under a license different from its original ACM license?
I am inclined to be quite suspicious about that.

Best, Hans Werner

> However, I am not a lawyer, etc...
>
> -pd
>

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Re: ACM Software Copyright and License Agreement

Peter Dalgaard-2

On Feb 17, 2012, at 13:42 , Hans W Borchers wrote:

> peter dalgaard <pdalgd <at> gmail.com> writes:
>
>> On Feb 16, 2012, at 12:31 , Hans W Borchers wrote:
>>
>>> I have often seen the use of routines from the ACM Collected Algorithms,
>>> i.e. <netlib.org/toms/≥ (CALGO, or Trans. On Math. Software, TOMS), in
>>> Open Source programs, maybe also in some R packages --- and sometimes
>>> these programs are distributed under the GPL license, sometimes under
>>> proprietary licenses, e.g. in Scilab.
>>>
>>> The use of these CALGO programs is subject to the ACM Software Copyright
>>> and License Agreement <www.acm.org/publications/policies/softwarecrnotice>
>>> which includes the following paragraph:
>>>
>>>   **Commercial Use**
>>>   Any User wishing to make a commercial use of the Software must contact
>>>   ACM at permissions <at> acm.org to arrange an appropriate license.
>>>   Commercial use includes
>>>   (1) integrating or incorporating all or part of the source code into a
>>>   product for sale or license by, or on behalf of, User to third parties,
>>>   (2) distribution of the binary or source code to third parties for use
>>>   with a commercial product sold or licensed by, or on behalf of, User.
>>>
>>> I assume that this license extension is not compatible with GPL, but may
>>> be wrong here. So my question is: Can software from the ACM Collected
>>> Algorithms be distributed under a GPL-compatible licence, and how to
>>> formulate and where to put such a license extension.
>>
>> One needs to tread _really_ carefully with these items.
>>
>> You plain can't claim that the ACM license is compatible with the GPL; it
>> just isn't. However, there are cases where software has been placed in the
>> Public Domain in addition to being published by an ACM Journal. E.g., the
>> NSWC (Naval Surface Warfare Center) library is in the Public Domain even
>> though some of its routines have been published in TOMS.
>
> And how can I be sure that these algorithms have been rightly placed on the
> NSWC library page under a license different from its original ACM license?
> I am inclined to be quite suspicious about that.

Well, in the case I was thinking of, the code was developed by US government officials working for the US government, and as such not subjected to US Copyright.

Also, the NSWC manual clearly says: "Since the beginning of the development of the library, no proprietary or otherwise restricted codes have been permitted in the library."  

(e.g., http://www.ualberta.ca/CNS/RESEARCH/Software/NumericalNSWC/nsws.pdf)

>
> Best, Hans Werner
>
>> However, I am not a lawyer, etc...
>>
>> -pd
>>
>
> ______________________________________________
> [hidden email] mailing list
> https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-help
> PLEASE do read the posting guide http://www.R-project.org/posting-guide.html
> and provide commented, minimal, self-contained, reproducible code.

--
Peter Dalgaard, Professor
Center for Statistics, Copenhagen Business School
Solbjerg Plads 3, 2000 Frederiksberg, Denmark
Phone: (+45)38153501
Email: [hidden email]  Priv: [hidden email]

______________________________________________
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PLEASE do read the posting guide http://www.R-project.org/posting-guide.html
and provide commented, minimal, self-contained, reproducible code.