Re: Open Source licensing, Take 2

From: Edward Cherlin <cherlin_at_pacbell_dot_net>
Date: Tue May 10 2005 - 16:53:16 CDT

On Tuesday 10 May 2005 13:27, Alan Dechert wrote:
> >>
> >
> > Without looking, I know that 45-50 of those are meaningless
> > distractions that some company or project pushed for vanity
> > reasons. There are a small number of open source licenses
> > that might merit our serious attention. Like maybe 4-5,
> > tops.
> I analyzed this a bit more and have a few more comments (btw,
> I said 54 but it's really 52). Going by the columns in the
> referenced spreadsheet, I think we want the following to be
> "Yes.":
> COLUMNS = "Yes"
> b,c,g,h,i,j

My immediate take:

bY Can freely copy and distribute
cN Can charge royalty for copying or distribution
dY Can charge a fee for physical transfer of software
eY Must attach a copyright notice
fY Must keep intact all notices referring to license
gY Must include complete source code or a written offer to
provide complete source code at nominal cost
hY Can modify the program or parts of the program to form a new
iY Can freely copy and distribute the modified version of this
jN Can charge royalty for distribution of modified program
kY Must prominently note on the modified version that it has been
modified, and note the date of modification
lY Must include source code of any modifications if distributed
mY Interactive programs must display notices regarding warranty,
copyright information, redistribution information, and how to
view the license
nN Sections of modified program that can reasonably be considered
separate works are not bound by the terms of this license when
distributed by themselves
oY Must license any modified work distributed by you under the
terms of this license (the license is viral)
pN Can impose new license restrictions on distributed/modified
qY Includes a grant of patent licenses
rN Must license all modified work that is distributed or
published under the terms of this license at no charge to third
sY Provided "AS IS"--No express or implied warranties of
tY No liability for damage caused by program
uY Distributors can provide a warranty in exchange for a fee
vY Distributors must include warranty disclaimer
wY Provision of additional warranties trigger indemnification
xY Contains provision on attorney's fees
y? Contains additional restrictions on manner of availability of
source code

GPL has
b Y
c N
g Y
h Y
i Y
j N
k Y
o Y

> If we agree on those,

You and I disagree on c, j, and o.

> there are only two like that: Mozilla
> Public License 1.1

which is "viral", so I assume that you don't like it after all.

> and the Common Public License.

which does not require release of source code. I object.

> However, I
> think we want k too ("Must prominently note on the modified
> version that it has been modified, and note the date of
> modification"). This may not be hugely important, but I think
> we should have that. No existing license has all that. In
> addition, I think we want o="No" (non-viral).
> To have all that (and probably more), no existing license
> works for us.
> Alan D.

GPL is fine by my criteria. I haven't gone through the rest in
any detail.

Edward Cherlin
Generalist & activist--Linux, languages, literacy and more
"A knot! Oh, do let me help to undo it!"
--Alice in Wonderland
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Received on Tue May 31 23:17:32 2005

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