SANE - License

The information on this page is copied from the LICENSE file that is included in the sane-backends distribution. It's only changed to use HTML and some links were added.

This files attempts to clarify the licensing situation for the SANE distribution. In case of doubt, the copyright information contained in each file overrides what is said here.

SANE consists of three parts each of which has its own licensing terms:

The frontend programs.
These programs are generally protected by the GNU General Public License. (See file COPYING.)
The backend libraries.
Most backend libraries are protected by the GNU General Public License (see file COPYING), but as an exception, it is permissible to link against such a library without affecting the licensing status of the program that uses the libraries. For details, see the copyright notice at the head of the backend files (e.g., backend/dll.c).
Note that not all of the backends apply the exception and that some have additional licensing constraints. E.g., the DC210 backend uses JPG code that is licensed as described in README.djpeg.
The SANE API and network protocol as put forth in the standard document.
The standard is considered to be in the public domain. Anyone is free to implement SANE interface conforming applications or libraries in any way he or she sees fit.

Frequently Asked Questions about the SANE licensing:

Why don't you use the GNU LPGL ?
The reason SANE isn't licensed under the GNU LGPL is very simple: the GNU LGPL didn't exist at the time SANE was first released. So, the SANE Exception was added to the GNU GPL.
Why don't you relicense SANE, now that the GNU LGPL is available ?
To relicense the various pieces of code composing SANE, each and every copyright holder needs to agree with the relicensing. Unfortunately, some of the (original) backend authors cannot be contacted any longer, for various reasons; not to mention each and every contributor who sent in a patch. This effectively makes it impossible for the SANE Project to relicense SANE.

SANE homepage