[repost] [j at uriah.heep.sax.de: For Approval: The beer-ware license]

Russ Nelson nelson at crynwr.com
Thu Jan 24 05:46:42 UTC 2008

Matthew Flaschen writes:
 > That's just not true.  It says "/you can/ buy me a beer in return.".
 > "You can" can be interpreted as "You are able to" or "You have
 > permission to" (in which case "You may" would have been more clear).  It
 > can not be interpreted as "You are obligated to".

Nonsense.  It's in the license, so it must be imposing a legal
obligation.  If it merely informs the person that they are able to buy
the author a beer, they could do that even if was absent from the
license.  Why is it in there?  Clearly it imposes an obligation to
purchase a single malted hoppy alcoholic beverage on the redistributor
of the software (but only the ones who have expressed admiration for
the quality of the software).

Remember: licenses aren't needed between friends, so you can't choose
a friendly interpretation.  Licenses are needed between fucking
assholes so the licensed use may continue in spite of the hostility.

--my blog is at    http://blog.russnelson.com   | Software that needs
Crynwr sells support for free software  | PGPok | documentation is software
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