For thoughts: fair license

Chuck Swiger chuck at
Thu May 5 04:31:52 UTC 2005

On May 4, 2005, at 9:57 PM, James William Pye wrote:
> It's longer, but, all in all, I think it makes it a better license:
>         The exercise and enjoyment of the rights granted by authorship
>         is authorized provided that this instrument is retained with
>         substantial portions of the works in a good faith effort to
>         notify any entity that uses the works of this instrument.

Bravo!  Since nobody else has chimed in yet, this seems to be a fair, 
extremely permissive, OSD-compliant license; I'd been wondering whether 
someone could write a brief open-source license, and this is pretty 
good.  :-)

There are places where your DISCLAIMER is not permissable, or so I 
gather.  This may not concern you, but it might affect users who change 
your software if they are in such countries.  On the other hand, those 
users are free to offer a warrantee for a fee if they like, or 
otherwise adjust the license terms to suit their local needs, given the 
freedom they have.

> A couple notes,
> * I don't explicitly state any exception to the right to the claim of
> authorship, as I take the wording of Berne here[1] to, at least, imply
> that it is inalienable. Also, claiming authorship of works that another
> created is naturally wrong, so I can't imagine it being seen as a
> transferrable right.

I agree with you.  You might want to preface this first paragraph-- 
make that "the only paragraph": bravo again! :-)  with a "LICENSE: ", 
unless, of course, this text is kept in a file named LICENSE.  In which 
case, the README for the software ought to mention this LICENSE file 
and indicate that "the works" means the software, documentation, etc.

> * The change to the condition uses MIT style allowance of use without
> retention(substantial portions), and uses less demanding wording for
> notification of the license. I imagine that the "good faith effort" 
> part
> would help communicate that retention should be done in such a way to
> reflect an honest attempt to display prominently, so that notification
> may easily occur. Although, I'm not positive that having "good faith"
> qualify the effort actually has much of an affect, so if someone could
> shed some light on this, I would appreciate it(possibly save a couple
> words ;).

Some mean and nasty person could misconstrue "notify" in non-useful 
ways and get away with keeping their version secret, no doubt.


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