For Approval: Artistic License 2.0

Allison Randal allison at
Wed Mar 14 19:19:55 UTC 2007

John Cowan wrote:
> It's useful to alphabetize the definitions.

We preferred to order them by logical development of concepts, so as you 
read through, the definitions build on each other. This greatly improves 
the readability of the license, which is one of our core goals in the 

>>     "Original License" means this Artistic License as Distributed with
>>     the Standard Version of the Package, in its current version or as
>>     it may be modified by The Perl Foundation in the future.
> Rather than embedding "The Perl Foundation" into this definition, I
> suggest that you change this to "the License Steward" and then add the
> following definition:
> 	"License Steward" means The Perl Foundation or its
> 	assignee under clause 15.
> Clause 15 (which I've borrowed from the Common Public License)
> would look something like this:
> 	(15) In order to avoid inconsistency this license is copyrighted
> 	and may only be modified in the following manner. The License
> 	Steward reserves the right to publish new versions (including
> 	revisions) of this license from time to time. No one other than
> 	the License Steward has the right to modify this license. The
> 	Perl Foundation is the initial License Steward. The License
> 	Steward may assign the responsibility to serve as the License
> 	Steward to a suitable separate entity. Each new version of this
> 	license will be given a distinguishing version number. A Package
> 	may always be distributed subject to the version of this license
> 	under which it was received. In addition, after a new version of
> 	this license is published, a Contributor may elect to distribute
> 	the Package under the new version.

We discussed adding more explicit discussion of the results of an 
updated license, but in the end decided it was really an FAQ, not a 
license term. See 
under "Original License".

On wording "License Steward" vs. "The Perl Foundation", it goes back to 
our goal of keeping the license clear, simple, and straightforward. 
Sure, 20-50 years down the road the Perl Foundation could be dissolved 
or absorbed by some other organization, but the event would be governed 
by the laws in force at the time. The additional layer of indirection 
doesn't add value, but does make the license less clear.


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