Wonka Public Licence

Chris Gray chris.gray at acunia.com
Thu Nov 15 09:39:02 UTC 2001

Russell Nelson wrote:

> Chris Gray writes:
>  > Dear all,
>  >
>  > I was disappointed to see that our licence
>  > (URL:http://wonka.acunia.com/wonkapl.html) seems not to have made
>  > it onto the agenda of last Wednesday's meeting.  Since the WPL is
>  > now really just revised-BSD with a polite request tacked onto the
>  > end (we removed an Apache-style clause because it conflicted with
>  > the GPL), I propose that we self-certify, so to speak: that is, in
>  > our communications we (ACUNIA) simply state that our licence is
>  > fully compliant with the OSD, just as we assert that it is
>  > GPL-compatible.  Of course an OSI-certified gong would still be
>  > very welcome.
> If the request is no legal meaning, why do you need your license
> approved?

Arguably we don't "need" it any more: like I said, we can "self-certify".
Being able to refer to a specific decision or an official list is nice-to-have,
but not mission-critical.

Suppose I replace the current text at http://wonka.acunia.com by the following:

              An Open-Source VM

              Wonka is available under a genuine Open Source license conceived
with the needs of embedded system
              developers in mind: the conditions it imposes are the same as the
well-known BSD licence [http://www.opensource.org/licenses/bsd-license.html].
              You don't have to make your entire business open-source in order
to use Wonka, nor do we
              insist you join a ``community process'' .

              See the licensing page for details.

I think this is legal, honest, and decent, and says what we want to say: and
includes a desirable element of joint marketing (we implicitly identify
with the aims of OSI, inflating your citation index and allowing us to bathe in
your warmth).

> If the request indeed has legal import, what problem is it solving?

Both the Apache-style trademark clause and the Mach-style request were
added as sweeteners, to solve the problem of "how do we persuade the
Project Approval Comittee and the Board of Directors to give away many
man-years worth of valuable intellectual property?".  When the exact nature
of the conflict with the GPL was explained to me, I was able to justify a
request to delete the Apache clause.  At the moment I don't think I have a
convincing argument for removing sweetener no. 2.  If an opportunity arises
to quietly drop it then I will.

> In any case, if you resubmit it according to the new submission
> instructions, I'll get it on the agenda if I have any spare time after
> dealing with getting my mother home from the hospital.

If no one on this list objects to the self-certification solution then I don't
think we need to burden either you or the board with this.

I'm sorry to hear that your mother has been ill, and I hope that your
needing to get her home means that she is better or improving.


Chris Gray
VM Architect, ACUNIA

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