[erlang-questions] Non-free files in Erlang/OTP distribution?

Kenneth Lundin <>
Wed Jan 3 10:03:16 CET 2007


Hi,

What about this statement from RSA? (the link below)
I think it clarifies that it is ok to redistribute derivative work
regarding the MD5 Message-Digest Algorithm.

http://www.ietf.org/ietf/IPR/RSA-MD-all

It is written by:
"Linn, John" <>
February 19, 2000

and begin like this:

 The purpose of this memo is to clarify the status of intellectual
property rights asserted by RSA Security Inc. ("RSA") in the MD2, MD4 and
MD5 message-digest algorithms, which are documented in RFC-1319, RFC-1320,
and RFC-1321 respectively.

        Implementations of these message-digest algorithms, including
implementations derived from the reference C code in RFC-1319, RFC-1320, and
RFC-1321, may be made, used, and sold without license from RSA for any
purpose.


It then continues, but I think the above statement is clear enough.
Note, the code distributed with Erlang/OTP is derivative work from the reference
implementation in RFC 1321.

/Regards Kenneth


On 1/2/07, Sergei Golovan <> wrote:
> Hi!
>
> I'm packaging Erlang/OTP for Debian GNU/Linux distribution. Today
> there was a bugreport
> (http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=405360) concerning a
> license of some files, included in the Erlang/OTP distribution.
>
> The suspicious files are
>
> otp_src_R11B-2/lib/erl_interface/src/misc/eimd5.c
> otp_src_R11B-2/lib/erl_interface/src/misc/eimd5.h
> otp_src_R11B-2/erts/emulator/beam/erl_md5.c
>
> They contain (modified) reference implementation of MD5 digest algorithm.
>
> The included licence states:
>
>  * License is also granted to make and use derivative works provided
>  * that such works are identified as "derived from the RSA Data
>  * Security, Inc. MD5 Message-Digest Algorithm" in all material
>  * mentioning or referencing the derived work.
>
> The problem is that the license doesn't permit redistribution of
> derived works explicitly. Therefore it is considered non-free.
>
> Can you tell me, how do you interpret the license. Don't you think
> that Erlang/OTP distribution can't contain these files, derived from
> RSA code?
>
> Best wishes!
> --
> Sergei Golovan
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> 
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