shptrans license template 1.0 withdrawn

Bruce Dodson bruce_dodson at
Wed Aug 7 23:43:24 UTC 2002

(I wrote up a note like this for Russ earlier today but I accidentally hit
"delete" instead of "send".  That's a shame, since I'm pretty sure I said it
better the first time.)

After careful consideration, I've decided to withdraw the SHPTRANS license
template from the approval process.  Although the license is very likely OSD
compliant, I've come to undestand that it would not make a useful addition
to the line-up of licenses.

When I decided it should be possible to bring the strength of a copyleft to
a simpler BSD-type license, there was a fatal flaw in my reasoning: I didn't
understand that, since copyleft imposes "onerous" requirements on the
licensee, a copyleft license must be held to a higher standard of legal
precision than the simple permissive licenses.  Also, the scope of the
copyleft is extremely difficult to nail down.  This is not something that a
programmer should attempt.  (I think I read that somewhere, but sometimes
these things just don't sink in until you try them.)

I've decided that, of my two goals (simplicity vs. copyleft strength),
simplicity is the more important concern for me.  So I can probably salvage
a good, useful license (useful to me) from the SHPTRANS license template by
removing the copyleft requirement.  However, I don't think I'll submit that
to OSI for approval; you already have lots of licenses in the "simple
permissive license template" category and you don't need another.

Thanks to those who made helpful comments regarding the template, and I
apologize for any inconvenience that my application caused.  I meant well;


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