GPL + revision log license

From: David Mertz <voting-project_at_gnosis_dot_cx>
Date: Mon Aug 18 2003 - 11:33:58 CDT

"Douglas W. Jones" <jones@cs.uiowa.edu> wrote:
|Copies of all or any part of this code may be used freely
|in non-voting applications. Copies of all or part of this
|code may not be used in voting applications unless the entire
|revision history relevant to the code in question is retained
|and additions are made to reflect any and all revisions to
|that part of the code that is copied.

I quite agree with Doug's point here. It would be very useful for vote
administrators (or EVM vendors, etc) to see explicitly the whole history
of changes made to the software.

Part of this goal can be accomplished strictly within a GPL framework
simply by looking at diffs between the code versions (since each version
must be released along the way). But looking at a diff does not always
highlight WHY a given change was made.

Adding a clause like Dr. Jones', unfortunately, would probably not meet
with approval from the FSF. I think we can get OSI to OK such a
license, but FSF is more strict. We wouldn't be the first project to
modify the GPL, but such modifications usually receive a heightened
scrutiny from the open source community.

As well, although Doug's proposed language looks good to me, IANAL.
Maybe I'm missing some subtleties in the legal ramifications. I wonder
if Arthur has an opinion on the clause, since he has some background in
IP law (not as a lawyer, but as an expert witness).

Yours, David...
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Received on Sun Aug 31 23:17:11 2003

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