A prototype License Wizard up and running

Bruce Perens bruce at perens.com
Fri Apr 8 05:50:14 UTC 2005

Did my original posting go out on the list? It was HTML mail, I was 
worried that the server might block it.

John Cowan wrote:

>I thought of that, but GPL-compatibility is an issue to a lot of people.
The licenses in the range I suggested are the GPL, GPL-with-exception, 
and BSD. The BSD is GPL-compatible, and I can achieve pretty much any 
business purpose with that range.

>This is the FSF's view of the GPL, but not Rosen's view of it.
Larry doesn't feel that the GPL's reciprocal terms would hold up in 
court. Attorneys are divided on this. Rosen: no, Peterson: yes (I 
think), Samuelson: "we don't know", Cloud: "I'm looking for an answer 
too", Moglen: yes. And we have had one or two preliminary court findings 
that say "yes", and one case not concerning the GPL that might say "no", 
and the fact that nobody's wanted to be the victim of a test case also 
says "yes".

>The OSL looks like the GPL, but Rosen's interpretation puts it in
>effect in the same class as the MPL/CPL/CDDL.
And whether or not Larry is right, I'm not going to use his license in a 
context in which he feels it does not apply. If it were ever litigated, 
Larry would testify about his opinion and that would sink any other 

>It depends on whether the audience is business people or developers.
>I was aiming at developers, being one myself.  There is also no reason
>why there should be only one wizard.
I reject that business people and developers are different audiences. We 
have not been training business people that the GPL is an excellent 
vehicle for restraining your competition. Once they understand that, 
they do not have so much of a problem with it. They've been viewing the 
GPL as if they were always the recipients rather than the grantor.

> The wording won't help you. It's a matter of whether you interpret 
> works which include library works as derivative works or not, and 
> that's in the purview of the law, not the license.

If you feel it's a problem you will need to use contract law to solve 
it. And it's not clear that the licenses you were suggesting do that. Do 
you have a license to suggest that does?



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