Get ready....

Derek J. Balling dredd at
Thu Apr 15 03:47:27 UTC 1999

>Its the likelihood of confusion or being tricked on the part of an end user
>that we are really concerned about (we don't want a company using a gnuish
>sounding license to get users to use their software only to find out that the
>company has some evil clause that eviserates the open source nature of the
>license), as well as mounting industry pressure to erode to open source
>pillars in the distribution and publishing of software. The confusion is
>protected against  through Trademark and related intellectual property
>regimes. This is why the Open Source Certification mark is really important.
>As for the erosion of the open source principles in the software world, well,
>thats up to the people on the front line...

Agreed, which is my point entirely.

If licenses themselves allow themselves to be copied (with proper
attribution), then a person looking at an "unknown license" from "Joe Evil
Company", will see that it might be:

J.E.Co. Public License
  (derived from GNU General Public License - GPL)

To look at that on face value, a non-astute person might go "ahhhh, its
open source", but doing something like:

# diff jecopl COPYING | wc -l

and realize they changed a LOT of stuff in the license. 

Creating "parentage" of licenses allows existing good boilerplate to be
used and for computer geeks who aren't lawyers to know "ok, all that stuff
from the GPL that stayed works great, now what did they CHANGE on me?" and
look at it strictly from that perspective.


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