Two license questions

John Cowan jcowan at
Thu Mar 30 17:07:16 UTC 2000

Richard Bondi wrote:

> 1) I think this belongs on an FAQ at if I use one of
> the approved licenses, can I rename it? I'm going to use the Ricoh license
> for my book's code; can I call it the Wiley Open Source Public License
> everywhere?

Nobody is likely to sue you.  The GPL and MPL make explicit provisions for
doing this, and the MIT/BSD and Artistic Licenses have been used this way
forever.  I wouldn't worry about it.  You might want to call it the
"Bondi Open Source Public License", though, as Wiley might not appreciate
your taking their name in vain.

> 2) My publisher is very confused about whether they should replace their
> standard CD software statement with the Ricoh license, or put both on the
> page facing the CD.

Their standard license probably incorporates the Ricoh license by reference,
since it speaks of "using the software as described in the software and
the accompanying book", so if your license is present in either place you
are probably OK.

Nevertheless it will confuse people and should be heaved out.

> Do they contradict each other because the Wiley
> statement says "All rights reserved"? What confuses me is that the Ricoh
> license's Exhibit says "All Rights Reserved:" doesn't it actually grant a
> ton of rights?!!

No and yes, respectively.

It used to be that a notice of copyright (the thing that says "Copyright
2000 so-and-so") wasn't effective in some countries without the magic
words "All Rights Reserved", whether those rights were then licensed
to anyone or not.  This is no longer true anywhere (I think) but
publishers insert it out of habit.  It has no effect on your license.

Disclaimer: IANAL.


Schlingt dreifach einen Kreis um dies! || John Cowan <jcowan at>
Schliesst euer Aug vor heiliger Schau,  ||
Denn er genoss vom Honig-Tau,           ||
Und trank die Milch vom Paradies.            -- Coleridge (tr. Politzer)

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