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

Andrew C. Oliver acoliver at buni.org
Sun Jan 21 16:54:28 UTC 2007

Matthew Flaschen wrote:
> Sacha Labourey wrote:
>> they force developers to stick to
>> some runtime behavior developers might otherwise want to change (i.e.
>> displaying somebody's logo).
> I believe it is the consensus that this is still OSD #3 compliant, as
> long as the constraint is reasonable and technology-independent (OSD #10).
>  While licenses like GPL/LGPL force
>> developers to put the list of copyright holders in the distribution
>> (i.e. this is a weak form of attribution), it does not impose any
>> *runtime* constraint (i.e. I develop the software I really want).
> This is incorrect.  GPL 2c requires that modified versions still:
> "If the modified program normally reads commands interactively when run,
> you must cause it, when started running for such interactive use in the
> most ordinary way, to print or display an announcement including an
> appropriate copyright notice and a notice that there is no warranty
> [...] (Exception: if the Program itself is interactive but does not
> normally print such an announcement, your work based on the Program is
> not required to print an announcement.)"
> Thus, if the original program displays a copyright notice (which is the
> simplest form of attribution after all), warranty, etc. your modified
> version must as well.  Note that it doesn't require a specific form or
> size, and it exempts derivative works that are non-interactive (even if
> the original was).  That is why GPL passes OSD #10 and GAP fails.
> In one sense you're right, since OSD #10 seems to me a more precise
> version of OSD #3 (i.e. you must allow derivative works to use any
> technology).
>> If the OSI were to accept GAP licenses, then I could very well imagine
>> new license proposals with similar constraints pop-up in the future.
>> Example: a company developing management software could propose a
>> license to the OSI that would force derivative work to only contact
>> their management server repository URL or to "announce its presence"
> Fails OSD #10, since not all programs need support web access.  However,
> I think this would also be invasive enough to violate OSD #3 outright.
>> If some companies want to force such GAP behavior, they could license
>> their main code under an OSD-compliant license AND bundle their software
>> with some proprietary /non-OSS library that will be responsible for
>> displaying their logo as well as providing additional "things"
>> (features, etc.) that developers will feel are compelling enough so that
>> they keep this proprietary library it in their own software (and display
>> the logo screen).
> This is possible. Of course, they shouldn't say the whole program is
> OSI-certified.
There is a question though in that sacha interprets "allow 
modifications" to mean that requiring unalterable behavior (YOU must 
display a splash screen vs what must go on it if you do) to be 
non-allowance of modifications.  indeed it is for that part...can I 
declare certain behavior "off limits" without running afoul of #3 
supposing #10 could be avoided?


Is a required behavior displayed graphic logo part of the modifiable 
work?  If it is indeed part of the work (indeed I'm required to 
incorporate its display in the functionality) must it be modifiable to 
not run afoul of #3?  Previous attribution required display of facts, 
this requires rendering a file.  Can I not change the source or data 
(SVG is really a small and limited language as are other formats) so 
long as I find a way to do so w/o violating the trademark? 

> Mathew Flaschen

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