[License-discuss] Looking for a license agreement.

John Cowan cowan at mercury.ccil.org
Thu Oct 6 19:09:16 UTC 2011

Rudy Lippan scripsit:

> So what I would like to do is tie the license of the software
> to the user of the software respecting the licenses of the
> community-distributed components they use, whether or not the
> individual component is eligible for copyright protection.

I would just ignore the question of copyrightability, and treat all
components as if they were under copyright.

> I would also like to have a framework where components could require
> automatic redistribution of modifications---a contributor could select
> a mandatory/automatic redistribution license.

I'd recommend that you use the Apache 2.0 license for the core and the
non-restrictive components, while allowing contributors to license
components with "LGPL 3 or later" language.  These licenses are agreed
to be compatible.  Any distribution not including a LGPLed component can
be freely distributed with or without source; if the LGPLed component is
included, it at least must be distributed with source.

> While I understand the desire for someone to remove/disable/firewall
> off the automatic redistribution functionality for security or other
> reasons, it would be nice to say "If you disable this part of the
> system, you are restricted from using contributed components that
> require this functionality as a condition of your use".

You can't restrict how people use copyrighted works by reason of the
copyright alone: you can only control how they copy, distribute, or
modify them.

John Cowan  cowan at ccil.org   http://ccil.org/~cowan
Consider the matter of Analytic Philosophy.  Dennett and Bennett are well-known.
Dennett rarely or never cites Bennett, so Bennett rarely or never cites Dennett.
There is also one Dummett.  By their works shall ye know them.  However, just as
no trinities have fourth persons (Zeppo Marx notwithstanding), Bummett is hardly
known by his works.  Indeed, Bummett does not exist.  It is part of the function
of this and other e-mail messages, therefore, to do what they can to create him.

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