Cougaar license meaning.

Don Jarrell don at
Sat Feb 22 14:55:12 UTC 2003

I am not a lawyer either, but I have been working
with the practical side of licensing with small
and very large corps for 20+ years. So I guess you
could say I am less uncomfortable with legalese than
some other non-attorneys.  Still, IANAL and TINLA.

I would advise any client of mine NOT to use the
Cougaar software, or anything else presented under
the Cougaar license as cited in your message, because
it is _fundamentally_ self-contradicting. While
I found several contradictions in quick scan, I agree
that the biggest and clearest issues are in what a
Licensee can do with a Derivative Work.  You can
"sell" it, but cannot "charge for the Cougaar Software
or Derivative Work"; the Licensee "maintains all
but must "place any and all Derivative Works in the
public domain"; the Licensee can "sublicense" the
Derivative work, but by giving it back to the Licensor
who will give it away, the effect of the Licensee's
sublicensing it is taken away.

One does not have to be an attorney to wisely choose
to avoid this license.

Cheers.     dj

Don B Jarrell           don at
                        512 266 7126   home-office
Digital Thinking Inc.   972 467 6793          cell

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Mikael Andersson [mailto:snikkt at]
> Sent: Saturday, February 22, 2003 7:35 AM
> To: license-discuss at
> Subject: Cougaar license meaning.
> The cougaar[1] license is written in what is
> probably good form for a lawyer.
> Problem is, i'm not one. And to make matters
> worse, english isn't even my
> primary language.
> Esp paragraph 3,4 by themselves and together
> really boggled my mind as to what
> i could and couldn't do with the software
> and derivative works of it.
> Paragraph 15 is also a bit hard to
> understand since i don't know much about
> the laws of Virginia at all and wonder if
> it's mean something except that the
> licensor has choosen a court by convenience.
> If anybody really understands it i'd be
> happy to hear about it. I don't think
> it fits the open-source definition though,
> albeit i'm not sure due to the
> legalese.
> [1]
> /regards Mikael Andersson
> --
> license-discuss archive is at

license-discuss archive is at

More information about the License-discuss mailing list