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

Brian Behlendorf brian at collab.net
Wed Dec 13 02:39:44 UTC 2006

On Sun, 10 Dec 2006, Ben Tilly wrote:
> On 12/9/06, John Cowan <cowan at ccil.org> wrote:
>> Brian Behlendorf scripsit:
> [...]
>> The trouble is that if you pull a chunk of code (more than a snippet,
>> less than the whole thing) out of a badgeware GUI/web program and
>> incorporate it into a program that doesn't have a graphical UI,
>> what then?  I find a nifty implementation of some algorithm or
>> other, I add it to my command-line program, how and where do I
>> display the badge?
> Slightly more generously, suppose that I add a small chunk of code
> from a badgeware program into an existing GUI/web program.  To do that
> do I have to go through *every* screen to add the badge even though it
> is only used in one place?  If so, that's a pretty big disincentive
> for using that code.  A big enough one that in practice I'm going to
> choose not to do it.

Ben's example is easier to answer.  Yes, it's a big disincentive - as 
would having to relicense your application to be GPL rather than another 
license just because that code you desire is GPL-licensed.  Inconvenience 
doesn't seem to be a primary constraint.

The answer to John's would presumably be - "well, implement a GUI".  A 
more serious answer is that I'm not suggesting that all possible badgeware 
provisions be accepted, but that it would be possible to come up with one. 
A provision that says that the badge must be "somewhere prominent and 
user-visible within a single click or keyboard input" might be an 
acceptably generic way of stating it.  If you're building a DNS server 
that has no user interface other than the DNS information returned on a 
lookup, that's a trickier situation, but how much harm is done by saying 
such a no-UI project can't use code from the badgeware project?


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