Uses of the Artistic License?
matthew.flaschen at gatech.edu
Wed Jan 17 01:33:00 UTC 2007
Bob Jacobsen wrote:
> Can anybody please point me to users of the Artistic License?
> I'm a party to a Federal lawsuit involving copyright of open-source code
> that's released under the Artistic License. For more information about
> that, please see <http://jmri.sourceforge.net/k/index.html>. The
> defendants have argued that our use of the Artistic License does not
> provide protection under copyright law, but only much more limited
> protection under contract law. Should they win this, it would be an
> unfortunate precedent.
First, the Artistic License is interesting because it's the only
OSI-approved license that (to my knowledge) the Free Software Foundation
has specifically decided is unfree
This is simply because they found the Artistic License too vague. I am
not a lawyer, but I think you're wrong in saying that the Artistic
licnese means "nobody charge for the software itself". It says you can
charge a "reasonable copying fee" that you must only justify to the
"market", which is a fairly large loophole that probably allows selling
for any price. Item #1 of the Open Source Definition says "The license
shall not restrict any party from selling [...] the software", so if
your interpretation is right, the Artistic License shouldn't be
OSI-approved. However, if I understand right, this issue isn't central
to your copyright claim.
> One of the things we have to file with the Court is a disclosure of
> "interested entities". The outcome of this case may be of interest to
> any project using the Artistic License, and perhaps more generally to
> users of other licenses.
The interpretation of free/open source licenses *as* licenses, rather
than contracts is key to most licensors, including the FSF.
We should therefore list any projects using
> the Artistic License that we can reasonably find. I know about Perl,
> and have included that. (It would also be helpful to point at any
> published information on Perl usage; I'd appreciate a pointer to
> anything like that you might know about)
Perl is licensed under the so-called Perl License, a dual-license of the
GNU GPL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/gpl.html) and the Artistic License.
It is my understanding that most CPAN (http://www.cpan.org/) modules
share this license.
Are there any other large
> and/or well-known projects?
I found a virtual machine called Parrot (http://www.parrotcode.org/),
started by the Perl community, also dual-licensed with the GPL.
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