[Fwd: FW: For Approval: Generic Attribution Provision]

Nicholas Goodman ngoodman at bayontechnologies.com
Sat Dec 9 20:08:35 UTC 2006

On Mon, 2006-12-04 at 14:30 -0800, Ross Mayfield wrote: 

> I think limiting the attribution affordance for licensors will bring
> us back where we started (or are today, a day when yet another open
> source company launched with MPL + attribution), and a license that is
> designing what is "appropriate" is designing software, if not choosing
> technology.

Again, the idea is to NOT restrict technology/use by explicitly saying
attribution in appropriate places are not required in headless or NON
GUI circumstances.  Hence the suggested language (if such a splash
screen or ... exist).

Allowing the broad ability to do attribution via any method the original
author determines (I think your proposed language intends this, yes?)
would clearly open the door for badgeware.  ie, without explicitly
limiting the "nature" of the attribution it could become exceptionally
onerous.  ESPECIALLY since this provision is meant to be considered as
an addendum to any OSI license it should be considered carefully.  

> Is striking the example language, "(e.g., splash screen or banner
> text)" a considerable compromise?

Actually, I would suggest the opposite.  Changing the wording to ensure
that licensors can not impose onerous conditions would likely explicitly
identify those places and not grant anything else.  ie, Attribution
required can only be required on a splash screen, about page, online
help, etc.
Does the compromised wording I've suggested put us at an impass?  ie,
attribution is only acceptable to you (and others) if it's on every UI
screen and attribution is only acceptable to me (and others) if it's
restricted to appropriate places.  

I'm losing my stamina for advocating against badgeware; the Tsunami of
VC dollars behind this issue is formidable.  I've made the case that the
type of attribution desired is NOT in line with the Open Source effect;
I'm guessing the OSI Board has to sort the issue themselves now.  

I've resigned to accept that open source may become a bit more "caveat
emptor" and acronyms like CTFL (Check the Frickin License) may be part
of "Getting Started with Open Source" articles/guides/etc.  I PERSONALLY
am okay in that world, because I know licensing (fairly) well.  For
every one of me, there are 10,000 users/buyers/developers that will need
to know how to CTFL.  C'est la vie.

We can all still get along and have a cup of tea; even if we disagree.
I look forward to hearing what the OSI Board sorts out with this

Kind Regards,
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