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

Michael Tiemann tiemann at redhat.com
Fri Dec 15 21:57:39 UTC 2006

On Fri, 2006-12-15 at 11:53 -0800, Brian Behlendorf wrote:

> Michael, are you against any form of attribution clause?  Or simply put 
> off (as am I) by the specific one suggested by Ross?

I am not against any form of attribution clause.  In fact, when
opensource.org moves to its shiny new incarnation (hopefully soon) it
will be licensed under CC:BY 2.5.  We chose CC:BY because we want to
benefit from attribution, even if the user doesn't SA.

I see a distinction, for example, between splash-screen attribution and
continuous display attribution.  I see a distinction between going to
the logical equivalent of an About box and getting truth (proper
attribution) and fiction (a ripped and replaced claim that does not
match the reality of the source code).  I believe 100% that it is
legitimate that authors should expect their names to be presented when
users probe the provenance of the code.  For example, I am happy that,
after 10 years of retirement from hacking GNU C++, I'm still listed
here: http://gcc.gnu.org/onlinedocs/gcc/Contributors.html .  That's
proper attribution in my book, and the GPL's strong guarantee of source
availability make that attribution effective.

I am sympathetic to the fact that in the world of SOA there is an issue
where the GPL (and other OSS licenses) do not necessarily provide an
effective guarantee that the software you use, over the wire, provides
you equal opportunity to access the source.  But I also believe that the
proper remedy for that problem is for users who care about OSS to say
"OK, so you don't have to give me the source if I use your service.
BUT, I can refuse to use your services unless you provide me with
sources that /are/ the sources running on the website.  And if you do,
I'll consider that to be open source for me, and I'll live by all those
open source rules, including copyright and proper attribution, whether I
redistribute, modify, build services that integrate with your services,
or run the code as a service myself."


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