ZDNet article - why attribution matters

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Tue Nov 28 19:52:50 UTC 2006

Quoting Matt Asay (mjasay at gmail.com):

> Pointing fingers and saying things that have been "proven" because you
> agreed with yourself doesn't help.

I was referring not to any of my _own_ posts, but rather yours of
Monday, November 13.  Specifically, you said "Because this is an
application with a UI, and because users, not the administrators, are
likely going to be the first ones complaining if something goes wrong,
it makes no sense to bury the disclaimer in the text accompanying the
code because the end user will never have the opportunity to see it" and
"I think it's a bad idea to try to read into a license's intentions -
any license.  A law/license should be read on its face."  

For context, this was immediately after I'd tried to give you an out by
suggesting that Alfresco's phrase "logo and vendor disclaimer must be
visible to all users and be located at the very bottom left of each user
interface screen" clearly carried an implied qualifier of "if any
[screen]".  So, per your Nov. 13 post: apparently not.

Or are you saying you meant something else entirely?

> As emphatically as you believe that attribution doesn't meet OSD#10,
> others (like me) believe that it does.

It is surpassingly odd to attribute this viewpoint to me, mere minutes
after I stated the exact opposite.  Again, the essence of OSD#10 is
technological neutrality.  This the old BSD licence is compliant, while
Alfresco's (judging by your posting) is not.

> I'd also appreciate it if you didn't paraphrase what I'm saying.

If you find any inaccuracies, please do point them out, and I'll be
delighted to correct them.  That offer I gladly make, even though I find
your request more than odd coming from someone who just claimed I said
attribution doesn't meet OSD#10.

> I didn't comment at all on whether derivative works should be graphical.  

Note:  Whether the required "user interface screen" is graphical or not
is actually rather beside the point.  Requiring one at all precludes
reuse of the code in, e.g., daemons, which then contravenes OSD#10.

Yes, code from your "application with a UI" might eventually be used in
a derivative work having none.  That's what happens in open source.

(It was Matthew Flaschen who framed the issue as "This requires there be
a GUI!"  Which missed the target a bit.  Apologies for having picked up
his wording, which somewhat obscured the point under discussion.)

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