STWL 1.0, revision 7: please comment

Bernhard Fastenrath bfastenrath at
Tue Nov 23 11:03:19 UTC 2004

Ernest Prabhakar wrote:
> On Nov 22, 2004, at 11:45 AM, Bernhard Fastenrath wrote:
>>     3. The licensee makes an attempt to promote the use of this software
>> by notifying parties the licensee is in contact with and to whom this
>> software may be of interest about the software, even if such parties
>> have not yet recognized the need themselves or already attempt to use
>> another type of software, especially if the later is proprietary 
>> software.
>>     4. The licensee agrees to be of assistance at least twice if
>> anybody requests help in installing the software or understanding
>> the software.
> I appreciate your attempts to make these clauses palatable, but I just 
> don't think they're going to fly.   Either they are enforceable
> in which case they impose extrinsic obligations which probably violated the 
> OSD -- or they are not, in which case there's no point in having them.

This depends on the different jurisdictions in different countries. It
is quite acceptable that licensees from countries where the license is
not valid have to contact the author to sign a license that they agree
to the terms of the license, but in a mutual and signed agreement.

> I did say "probably" -- maybe this meets the letter of the OSD, but the 
> whole notion seems contrary to the spirit (IMHO).  I'd just put them in 
> a non-normative preamble (rather than in the license proper) and be done 
> with it.

The spirit of open source software is to allow the sharing of software
and to establish a gift economy for software -- that's the spirit of
this license, too.

Software patents are contrary to that spirit and the solution to this
problem is to prevent software patents from interfering with open source
software as effectivly as possible.

A non-normative preamble is not enforceable. I was told earlier to stick
to enforceable conditions and that is a very sound position when
software patents come into the discussion. Paragraphs 3 and 4 may be
seen as goodwill paragraphs because they are probably rarely enforced,
paragraph 5 would be a waste of good, usable computer memory if it
wasn't enforceable.

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