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I was thinking about securing some data on a laptop running Ubuntu with something like TrueCrypt, but I noticed that I could not apt-get it even though it is "open source".

So I searched the web for some information on what is going on and whether there are any problems with TrueCrypt and found this Wikipedia page that states that neither OSI nor the major Linux distros like it.

What exactly is the issue with the TrueCrypt license? Is TrueCrypt free (as in freedom) or not?

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lists.freedesktop.org/archives/distributions/2008-October/… I think this sums it up nicely. I got it from the wiki article. It gets into some major legalese in there... –  Nitrodist Aug 29 '10 at 8:18
    
But why did OSI approve it? –  Johan Aug 29 '10 at 8:24
    
Wait I can't find it on the osi webpage (opensource.org/licenses/alphabetical) maybe wikipedia is wrong about the OSI approval? –  Johan Aug 29 '10 at 8:27
    
quoting the wikipedia article: "The TrueCrypt License has not been officially approved by the Open Source Initiative and is not considered "free" by several major Linux distributions" –  lajuette Aug 29 '10 at 8:30
    
Upps, missed the little "not"... –  Johan Aug 29 '10 at 8:57

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

I found this link in the article you posted. IMHO it contains all the information you need.

If i got it right the main problems are, that the TrueCrypt license is not protecting the developers enough (e.g. from being sued). The works they create are not protected from being included in (commercial) software without the developers/users knowing about it.

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From my reading of the mailing list link is that the main problems were that the license a) Could be interpreted as prohibiting any charge for binary distribution (so that it could never be included in a commercial Linux distribution, for instance). b) Contained a blanket statement that the license was not a promise that the recipient would not be sued for copyright infringement. There was no exclusion of the rights that the license was supposed to grant (freedom to copy, re-distribute, etc.). –  justincc May 30 at 12:11
    
Lajuette, those are not real limitations in the definitions of Free or Open Source Software. Software in the Public Domain is open source, and has the same two "shortcomings" (the latter, as you described it, is actually required by both definitions). Justincc... if a copyright license doesn't include forbearance of the right to sue under copyright, it's not a copyright license. That was written by bad lawyers. –  Daniel Jun 1 at 12:35

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