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

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Thu Jan 4 04:51:34 UTC 2007

Quoting Andrew C. Oliver (acoliver at buni.org):

> I'd much rather have more head on discussion on whether OSI should 
> certify pixel based attribution requirements at all....

The defined process OSI as an organisation long ago established requires
as a prerequisite that the user of a licence submit their licences for
approval.  It does not as a body engage in theoretical examinations of
licences that _might_ be used and _might_ be evualted _if_ they were
ever submitted.

> I do not think the present
> (http://www.opensource.org/licenses/attribution.php) goes too far
> because the unqualified banner means it is no more intrusive than the
> original BSD licenses.                     ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Sure it is.

BSD original clause 3 (advertising clause) states:

* 3. All advertising materials mentioning features or use of this * software
*    must display the following acknowledgement:
*      This product includes software developed by the University of
*      California, Berkeley and its contributors.

In the classic BSD spirit, that clause doesn't encumber code usage in any
way.  In fact, it doesn't even _address_ usage.  The rest of the licence 
merely allows redistribution and use for any purpose, as long as the
copyright notice is retained and coder names aren't used to endorse or
promote products, and on condition that all warranties are disclaimed.

> How far should OSI go with its definition 
> of "open source" with regards to pixel/link-based attribution?

About as far as a reasonable interpretation of OSD #6 (in particular,
the freedom to reuse in commerce) suggests.  Nicholas Goodman has
pointed out, in that connection, that "Exhibit B" firm MuleSource has
recently stated bluntly that its licence's _aim_ is to induce commercial
users of its MPL + Exhibit B codebase to buy a "commercial licence", 

Cheers,      "Transported to a surreal landscape, a young girl kills the first
Rick Moen     woman she meets, and then teams up with three complete strangers
rick at linuxmafia.com       to kill again."  -- Rick Polito's That TV Guy column,
              describing the movie _The Wizard of Oz_

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