Copy-Back License draft for discussion

Chuck Swiger chuck at
Sun Apr 24 20:22:54 UTC 2005

Chris Zumbrunn wrote:
> On Apr 24, 2005, at 7:20 PM, John Cowan wrote:
>> About the most that the FLOSS community will accept is a requirement to
>> publicize the change on a web page, not to actively mail it back to you.

I'd bet that most people here use software with more restrictive licenses than 
this one, and that at least some people on this list have published their own 
software under a more restrictive license, too.

I think it would be better to simply use a BSD license and simply request that 
changes be returned to the author in the README.  However, if Chris wants to 
receive any and all changes as a condition for publishing his code, yes, the 
restriction is somewhat annoying, but this is still compatible with the OSD.

[ ... ]
> 5. Reasonable efforts to support this project must be made by contributing
> any modifications and extensions back to the original contributor, which
> must be notified on how to easily obtain such contributions by contacting
> the Contact Email Address.
> With this formulation it's possible to send one notification about where 
> any future modifications will continue to be made available. Also, I 
> dropped the reference to the BSD license, which was an unnecessary 
> restriction.

Be careful of using the term "reasonable" in a license, as there are a whole 
lot of opinions about just what that means.  It would be better to simply 
state that if one publishes a modified version of this software, then one 
needs to submit the changes back to the Contact Email Address.

It would be useful to say what happens if the author cannot be contacted.

> Since these notifications are not required for distribution - only for 
> modification - and since they can be one-time notifications on how to 
> obtain any future contributions, do you still consider this beyond the 
> obnoxious threshold?



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