Get ready....

Rob Edgeworth rob at
Wed Apr 14 20:27:10 UTC 1999

There is distinction between the copyright of the license and the linkage
between the license and a piece of intellectual property.

Most licenses say something to the effect that in order to use the IP
protected you must accept the terms of the license without modification.
This term protects the IP from modification of the license terms.

If I were to take a license that is copyrighted by Microsoft, and modify all
instances of Microsoft to my company, my company could be sued by MS for
copyright infringement.

So far, this is a trivial point, particularly since license 'borrowing' is
epidemic in the commercial software industry.  But how will you feel after
spending 10s of hours or more reviewing and tweaking a license to see it
published with a copyright mycompany hung on the end of it?

Rob Edgeworth
Center for Precision Metrology
University of NC at Charlotte
-----Original Message-----
From: bruce at <bruce at>
To: dagon at <dagon at>; rob at
<rob at>
Cc: license-discuss at <license-discuss at>
Date: Wednesday, April 14, 1999 4:14 PM
Subject: Re: Get ready....

>From: "Rob Edgeworth" <rob at>
>> I think it is important to establish right off the bat that any open
>> license is public domain (or better yet GPL'd).
>Of course you must prohibit modification of the instance of a license that
>is actually used to protect someone's copyright, or it isn't of any use in
>protecting the copyright. It's OK for a _prototype_ license to be modified,
>though, and then instantiated as a real software license that can not be
>further modified. Whether this is allowed or not is up to the license
>I doubt this does anything positive for us, though. It sounds as if it
>only encourage the proliferation of more license variations.
>Note that the GPL isn't under the GPL. I don't really have a problem with
>that, because I think most modifications of the GPL would diminish it.
> Thanks
> Bruce

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