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

John Cowan cowan at ccil.org
Wed Dec 13 21:16:25 UTC 2006

Timothy McIntyre scripsit:

> We spent a long time choosing how to license our source code, and in the 
> end, we primarily wanted to (1) give developers the freedom to mix 
> Terracotta code with their own code, and then redistribute their own 
> code under a license of their choice, and (2) ensure that 
> redistributions of Terracotta code included some kind of visible 
> attribution of Terracotta.  

Here's what your license says (in normal capitalization; the original SHOUTS):

# However, in addition to the other notice obligations, all copies of
# the Covered Code in executable and source code form distributed or
# otherwise made available must, as a form of attribution of the initial
# developer, include on each user interface screen (i) the copyright
# notice in the same form as the latest version of the covered code
# distributed or otherwise made available by Terracotta, Inc. at the time
# of distribution of making available of such copy and (ii) the following
# text, which must be large enough so that it can be read easily:
# "POWERED BY TERRACOTTA".  The copyright notice and text must be visible
# to all users and be located at the very bottom and in the center of
# each user interface screen.  The word "TERRACOTTA" must be a hyperlink,
# so that when any user activates the link (e.g., by clicking on it with
# a mouse), the user will be directed to http://www.terracotta.org.

Would you agree that a Larger Work which has no user interface screens
is not bound by this requirement?  That is, do you think that inserting
the words "if any" after each instance of "user interface screen" would
still substantially achieve your goals?

If so, I think some forward progress is possible.  The OSI Definitions
don't merely contemplate certain types of software reuse, but *every*
type of software reuse.

> The way we addressed this in the Terracotta Public License was to
> instead give the licensee a license to the copyright in the phrase,
> "Powered by Terracotta."

Well, there probably is no copyright (de minimis) in such a phrase, and
you are not merely licensing the user to use it, but actually *requiring*
him to do so as a condition of the TPL.  But that's dictum.  :-)


John Cowan   cowan at ccil.org  http://www.ccil.org/~cowan
Most languages are dramatically underdescribed, and at least one is
dramatically overdescribed.  Still other languages are simultaneously
overdescribed and underdescribed.  Welsh pertains to the third category.
        --Alan King

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