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

John Cowan cowan at ccil.org
Sat Dec 16 18:17:17 UTC 2006

Rick Moen scripsit:

> To answer your question:  Sure, but this _isn't_ licence combinatorics,
> but rather an effect that happens with multiple borrowings from
> codebases all under the _same_ licence.

I guess we are not done yet.

Suppose someone comes to me and said "Are you John Cowan?", receives
an affirmative answer, and then goes to you and asks you "Are you
John Cowan?"  is told "No", and then complains because our answers
were inconsistent.  They aren't, because although the two questions are
expressed in the same words, they aren't the same question.

By the same token, a license that says "Put my badge centered on the
top" and another license from another programmer that says "Put my
badge centered on the top" are *not* the same license, because of the
indexicalness of "my".  Therefore it's hardly surprising that they are

> The point is that a natural coding activity, of code reuse without any
> licence incompatibility, is substantively blocked by the particular
> form of badgeware requirement referred to in the Subject header.

But there is a license incompatibility.  You've just pointed it out.

> Moreover, even the theoretically possible cases might be reasonably
> interpreted as making use infeasible in practice, e.g., three or
> more mandated logos strike me as not something a reasonable user
> would tolerate.

This is what makes the old-BSD advertising clause obnoxious; nevertheless,
the four-clause BSD is still presumably open source.  (OSI has never
bothered to actually certify it, but it's close to the old Apache license,
which they did certify.)

"But I am the real Strider, fortunately,"       John Cowan
he said, looking down at them with his face     cowan at ccil.org
softened by a sudden smile.  "I am Aragorn son  http://www.ccil.org/~cowan
of Arathorn, and if by life or death I can
save you, I will."  --LotR Book I Chapter 10

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