[Fsf-friends] MIT releases Software Tools for Hindi and Tamil
Fri Jul 8 09:03:43 IST 2005
Ministry of Communications & Information Technology, Government of
India, has released Software Tools and Fonts for Hindi and Tamil.
Except OpenOffice, FireFox and and few other software packages, most
of the other packages are proprietary software that require Microsoft
Windows. It is shocking to see our government promoting proprietary
software packages and licenses this day, this way.
None of the proprietary tools distributed by MIT can be called "free"
as they require _Windows_ 95/98/* to run. The other strange thing is
that some of the tools released can be used only for "Personal Use"
(See a sample license in the footnote) If the idea is to promote the
use of Hindi, Tamil and other languages, then the restrictions imposed
by the non-free licenses are clearly opposed and against the
objectives. If we desire to promote Hindi or Tamil or any other
language for that matter, we ought to encourage their free use in all
our public affairs with freedom, which could be done best only with
Most of the language tools could be used on Windows but not on
Gnu/Linux or any other operating system. Even OpenOffice, FireFox and
any of the other few free software tools are shown as applications
that run on Windows, and (btw?) on "Linux".
If public funds have been utilised for producing the language tools,
then they ought to be released under free licenses. MIT should
distribute only free software that is vendor and platform neutral,
giving people the tools and freedom to communicate in their mother
tongue, both in private and public affairs through digital medium.
One sample license found in the distro:
Copyright © 2005 Language Technologies Research Center
International Institute of Information Technology, Hyderabad, India
All Rights Reserved.
This license applies to Text to Speech and Speech databases developed
by Language Technologies Research Center, International Institute of
Information Technology, Hyderabad, India. These are herein referred to
as the "Software".
Subject to the terms and conditions of this license International
Institute of Information Technology Hyderabad hereby grants you to use
this Software solely for your Personal Use.
"Personal Use" means use of this Software by an individual solely for
his or her personal, private and non - commercial purposes. An
individual's use of this software in his or her capacity as an
officer, employee, member, independent contractor or agent of a
corporation, business or organization (commercial or non - commercial)
does not qualify as Personal Use.
This Software is protected by copyright law and treaties. Reproduction
or distribution of this Software or any portion of it with out the
permission of International Institute of Information Technology
Hyderabad may result in civil and criminal penalties and will be
THE INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY HYDERABAD AND
THE CONTRIBUTORS TO THIS WORK DISCLAIM ALL WARRANTIES WITH REGARD TO
THIS SOFTWARE, INCLUDING ALL IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND
FITNESS, IN NO EVENT SHALL THE INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE OF INFORMATION
TECHNOLOGY HYDERABAD NOR THE CONTRIBUTORS BE LIABLE FOR ANY SPECIAL,
INDIRECT OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES OR ANY DAMAGES WHATSOEVER RESULTING
FROM LOSS OF USE, DATA OR PROFITS, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT,
NEGLIGENCE OR OTHER TORTUOUS ACTION, ARISING OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION
WITH THE USE OR PERFORMANCE OF THIS SOFTWARE.
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