Policy for attribution

Matthew Garrett mjg59 at srcf.ucam.org
Tue Jul 11 16:45:36 UTC 2006

On Tue, Jul 11, 2006 at 09:32:14AM -0700, Lawrence Rosen wrote:

> 2) Requirements for attribution notices in displays, advertising,
> documentation, and other run-time notices have never previously been allowed
> in open source licenses. (See, e.g., the BSD advertising clause). 

While the 4-clause BSD advertising clause was never ideal, I think 
saying that it hasn't been allowed in open source licenses is going too 
far - claiming that would result in NetBSD (at least) not being an open 
source operating system. There's still a wide body of code under the 
4-clause BSD license, and the community seems fine with that.

In the specific case under discussion, the required clause includes a 
URL. This strikes me as dangerous. It's hardly unusual for companies to 
fold, and it's also not unusual for lapsed domain names to turn into 
advertising (or, worse, porn) sites. Requiring the inclusion of a link 
that may lead to inappropriate content seems like a potential issue. I 
don't think I'd have a problem if the license permitted the removal of 
the URL if it was no longer linked to the producers of the software.

Matthew Garrett | mjg59 at srcf.ucam.org

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