Revised License Committee Report for March 2009

Dag-Erling Smørgrav des at
Thu Mar 19 15:19:40 UTC 2009

Russ Nelson <nelson at> writes:
> Moreover, the license itself is unacceptably obnoxious.  Its very name
> cannot be mentioned in polite company.  There *is* still such a thing
> as polite company, y'know.

Perhaps it was not intended that way.  I think there is a perception
among younger Europeans (no doubt caused by overconsumption of Hollywood
movies and TV series) that liberal use of the f-word is appropriate and
accepted (and perhaps even expected) in everyday conversation.

> This license does nothing to protect the licensor, and gives the
> licensees all permissions.  It *is* the public domain [...]

Sam does have a point, though: "public domain" does not mean the same
thing in Europe as in the US.  There is no provision in Norwegian law,
for instance, for placing a work in the public domain before the
expiration of the copyright term.

However, there is a far simpler and less offensive way of achieving what
Sam wants to achieve:

 * Copyright (c) <YEAR> <AUTHOR'S NAME>
 * This work is distributed without any warranty of any kind.  It may be
 * used, modified and / or distributed by any party for any purpose.

IANAL, but I believe this is the absolute minimum required to grant the
user complete freedom while protecting the author - although a lawyer
may insist that the bit about the warranty should be in all caps (google
"warranty disclaimer conspicuous reasonable person" for an explanation).

I don't buy the argument that a warranty disclaimer is not required for
content, BTW.  Think of a CAD drawing, for instance, or a step-by-step
guide to refurbishing a brake caliper.

NOTE: the above is not in any way intended as a request for approval of
a new open source license.

> This license has gone before the board and has been rejected.  Further
> discussion here is off-topic.  I expect self-discipline, but it it's
> lacking, I will take steps.

Let's move it to where it belongs...

Dag-Erling Smørgrav - des at

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