Copy-Back License draft for discussion

Chris Zumbrunn chris at
Mon Apr 25 13:16:33 UTC 2005

On Apr 25, 2005, at 8:22 AM, Thorsten Glaser wrote:

> John Cowan dixit:
>> 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.
> It's not DFSG-free.
> I'd suggest a requirement to grant back rights to the original
> developer in addition to a (Carnegie-Mellon style) suggestion
> to send it back. Think dictator on an island with a solar powered 
> laptop.
> bye,
> //mirabile
> PS: Look at
>     for an example (scroll to the bottom, it's part of the
>     licence).

Thanks for the Carnegie-Mellon reference.

Regarding the DFSG, the Copyback license has also a problem with the 
Dissident test, in addition to the Desert Island test. I changed the 
language of clause 5 to...

5. Reasonable efforts to support this project must be made by 
     any relevant modifications and extensions back to the project, which
     must be enabled to easily obtain such contributions and be granted 
     rights to redistribute such contributions.

One could argue that this passes the Desert Island and Dissident tests 
since it asks for a reasonable effort and is non-explicit. Both the 
dissident and the castaway could claim that the effort that they would 
be required to make would be unreasonable under their circumstances. 
But I doubt if debian-legal would buy that argumentation.


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