Gotta love fun academic wording. I think this is what they mean.

   If software claims to use or include the GAP transitive groups library, you cannot modify the datasets. If you modify the datasets, you can 
   no longer claim that software to be using or including the GAP transitive groups library.

Can you reach out to that upstream and confirm this interpretation? If that is correct, there is no issue with us including the library. This is equivalent (albeit confusingly worded) to clauses in other FOSS licenses which restrict use of trademarks in modified works.

I suspect my interpretation is correct, because of their wording around "claims to use or include", but if they intend for this to be a more general restriction on modification if their software is incorporated into other applications or software compilations (e.g. Fedora), that would make it non-free.


On Thu, Jan 24, 2019 at 10:31 AM Jerry James <> wrote:
For many years now, the gap package has bundled 3 sets of data files
describing mathematical structures (groups).  I am working on updating
the Fedora package to the latest release, version 4.10.0.  In this
version, those 3 sets of data files have been split out into
separately distributed entities, with their own home pages and release
schedules.  They all grew new license terms, too.  I am worried about
the license on one of them, transgrp (see  It reads:

This library containing data and access functions, its parts are licensed in
different ways.

- In the belief that mathematical truth is universal and not owned or
  licenseable, the mathematical content can only be acknowledged: Groups of
  degree up to 15 are as described in Conway/Hulpke/McKay (LMS. Journal
  Comp. Math, Vol 1.) and the sources quoted therein.
  Groups of degree up to 30 were determined by Hulpke (J.Symb.Comp). Groups of
  degree 32 were determined by Cannon and Holt (Exp.Math.). Groups of degree
  33-47 were determined by Holt.

- The actual way of storing the groups and associated data, and the
  arrangement of the groups, is licensed under the artistic license 2.0:

  If you distribute software that claims to use or include the GAP transitive
  groups library it must include the actual data lists verbatim.

- The functions accessing the data files are licensed under GPL2 and under

I would call this license "Artistic 2.0 and (GPLv2 or GPLv3)", except
that I am worried about the sentence that begins "If you distribute
software...".  That sentence refers to the data files.  There is no
code in them, just formal descriptions of mathematical structures.  Is
that sentence a problem?

Thank you,
Jerry James
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