STWL (spread the word license)

Bernhard Fastenrath bfastenrath at
Wed Sep 22 16:35:05 UTC 2004

The intention of 3. and 4. is not to be legally enforceable but to
make it unmistakably clear that the described behaviour is required
by the license. It is left to your own judgment to decide who might
be interested in the software (3.) and who needs your help or whom
cou can help by answering questions (4.).

If requests for help are directly directed at you and the number
is not manageable for you (as in your example) the license would
require you to write a piece of documentation for this software
and spread this piece of documentation. That's perfectly within
the requirements of the license and takes a limited amount of time.

Another reaction to too many requests for help is to name somebody
who is using the software (either because you explained it to him
or her or because (4.) or you forwarded the software to him or
her, as by point (3.)) as an expert and share the load with others
who share the same license conditions with you.


Michael Sparks wrote:
> On Tue, 21 Sep 2004, Mikko Valimaki wrote:
> ..
>>>   4. You agree to be of assistance if anybody requires your help in
>>>installing the software or understanding the software.
>>This is overbroad and legally unenforceable.
> For the original poster...
> Also it's highly impractical suggesting the original poster hadn't
> realised the implications of the sentance. (if it was legally enforcable)
>    * Suppose a developer modifies and releases a piece of code under this
>      license.
>    * Suppose it's suddenly viewed as really useful for some reason, posted
>      on slashdot and 10,000 people download it.
>    * Suppose it's a pain to install
> This license says that the developer in question would be *required* by
> the license to support each and everyone of those people. Spending 5
> minutes on each email for 16 hours a day would take a month and a half to
> deal with.
> If this was in a contract (rather than a license) I very much doubt any
> company would accept this sort of burden, let alone an open source/free
> software developer.
> It's nice sentiment "tell people about X, help them out", but IMO, that's
> better left as a _suggestion_ in the docs, readme, rather than as part of
> the license. (No one sane would touch it otherwise - unless that's the
> real intent...)


Was du selbst nicht wuenschst, das tue auch anderen nicht an. 
(Konfuzius, Gespraeche, XII, 2) 551-479 BC

An hour of contemplation is better than a year of prayer. (Muhammad, La 
Mecque, vers 570 - Medine, 632)

How to become a vegetarian: Do not delegate a task if you might consider
it unethical if done by yourself.
Why don't you slaughter an animal yourself? (This is the intention
behind kosher and halal, but people, as usual, don't get it).

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