[Approval request] CMGPL licence

Marcel van der Boom marcel at hsdev.com
Wed Nov 7 22:00:18 UTC 2001


Thanks for your comments. This kind of reaction I was hoping for.

> I have to ask *why* you are doing this.

I'm exploring the possibilities to have the most efficient licensing on 
our software.

> - The changes appear to be largely gratuitous, in particular the
>   deletions from the preamble and appendix which don't effect the
>   legal force of the license, but do effect compatibility with GPLd
>   software.

I do agree. Isn't that a bit strange? The legal "strength" of the 
document stays exactly the same but all of a sudden (except for the 3c 
deletion which is actually changing the terms) it creates incompatible
products. I don't understand that. By not elaborating (preamble) and not 
referencing (the appendix) the new license creates an incompatability??

> - The "do one" "do at least one" is similarly minor.


> - The 3c alternative is significant for non-commercial distributors of
>   software.  It makes it possible for small third parties to
>   distribute GPLd software with few liabilities.  Note that the 3(b)
>   obligation would otherwise hold, which creates an obligation *to any
>   third party*.

Why is that a bad thing? If you distribute, this comes with a certain 
responsibility. And I do think even small third parties can take this 

> The strategic implications are more disturbing.

Now it's getting interesting...

> - The GNU GPL and LGPL (which is covertible to GPL) cover about 85% of
    all free software.  I disagree strongly with your statement that
    they are not well understood, and in particular with your
    implication that your minority license would be more readily

I did not mean that. The only thing I meant to say was that the more 
compact a license document is without losing strength or meaning, the 
better. (which is still an opinion and I understand the motivation of 
the FSF for the preamble)

> There are some areas of dispute regarding the GPL, but
> its general terms and mechinations are widely and deeply understood.

Ok, we have different opinions in this respect.

>- Above and beyond the GPL, licenses covering another 10-15% of free
>  software are GPL compatible.  Your license would not be.  From a
>  code transitivity standpoint, you're locking yourself *out* of a
>  codebase shared among 95% of free software projects.  This loses a
>  signficant advantage of free software.

Ok, this is the major problem I'm having.

This would be very bad and I'm realizing this, but what I cannot 
understand is why this would happen with such a minor change. It feels a 
bit like the GPL says. Do your license thing exactly like GPL or you are 
by definition incompatable with GPL. I can understand that this is 
necessary to some degree. But the mere deletion of article 3c, which is 
of no real importance (but hey, I'm the dummy here...) makes the product 
How on earth can the GPL than be compatible with any other license at 
all? Other licenses differ on more points than our proposal and jet some 
of them are GPL compatible.
I cannot answer this question and this is what my customers ask me.

I totally agree with the rest of your message, but the above is the core 
of my problem.


Marcel van der Boom
HS-Development BV
Kwartiersedijk 14B
Fijnaart, The Netherlands
Tel. : 0168-468822
Fax. : 0168-468823
Email: marcel at hsdev.com

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