Is this better for tomsrtbt?

Karsten M. Self kmself at
Sat Apr 21 23:45:18 UTC 2001

on Fri, Apr 20, 2001 at 11:33:27PM -0400, Tom Oehser (tom at wrote:
> > ...well, it doesn't fold in mail well....
> Good point.  I'll work on that...
> > Why your own variant of the BSD license instead of a lightly adapted
> > one?  The issue is more one of cognitive distance than of unsuitedness
> Well, the BSD license is basically trying to say, as I read it:
>  Don't sue me or pretend I endorse your stuff in your advertising.
> My license says, or attempts to say:
>  Don't cp my stuff wholesale and make out like you did the work.
> I don't feel it is necessary to explicitly protect myself from ad men
> pretending I endorse their product, and I'm happy with only a few words
> that there are no guarantees.  But I really didn't like it when I saw
> high percentages of stuff on other distributions used without credit.
> I am flattered if they use the stuff.  But I expect a note saying "this
> work makes liberal use of stuff from X at http://Y by A at B.COM", and that
> is what I want to make clear is required.  Which, though included in some
> licenses, is not as much the central focus for _why_ there is any license
> at all, for them, as it is for me...

I thought I knew the law, but it appears I'm wrong.   Was all ready to
say "but you've got that right by law".  Maybe not.

US Copyright law has very weak attribution rights -- as best I can tell
only an author of "a work of visual art" has the right "to claimm
authorship of a work" or "prevent the use of his or her name as author
of any work" (17 USC 106A).  There doesn't appear to be a general
attribution protection.  Section 501(a) explicitly states:

    Anyone who violates any of the exclusive rights of the copyright
    owner as provided by sections 106 through 121 or of the author as
    provided in section 106A(a)

...note the carve-out for authors, and that it references only 106(a),
which covers only works of visual art.

IANAL, so...Larry or Rod?

Karsten M. Self <kmself at>
 What part of "Gestalt" don't you understand?       There is no K5 cabal
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