[License-discuss] Looking for a license agreement.

Rudy Lippan rlippan at remotelinux.com
Thu Oct 6 21:20:27 UTC 2011

> On 10/06/2011 12:50 PM, Rudy Lippan wrote:
> > There will also  be a community aspect where individuals will
> > develop and contribute components, just like every other open source
> > project....  However, some of the contributed components may not be
> > eligible for copyright protections.  A component might be a simple
> > configuration file, a pure data set, or even a full description of a
> > server farm with data processing and management software.
> > 
> > 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.
> Just my two cents here, but I believe that it will be simpler (and
> safer) if you assume that all contributions to your project are
> copyrightable, and thus, needing to be under a compatible license.

That might be assuming a lot :-) 

I am looking at a CPAN-like system for contributions but where individual
builds would be able to be published within the network, but someone might
be publishing equivalent of the ./configure options that were used to get
some new CMS to work with a particular web server. (I used webserver 4.8
and I needed to add this set of modules along with making these configuration

Maybe think about of more of as a network for sharing .spec files? But where
the.spec files can also indicate the base OS along with the specific versions
of each application to along with the connections between other hosts.

I think it would be a fair trade for the author to say, 'go figure it out how
to do this for yourself if you don't agree to re-release your changes'.

> I also think that you should handle contribution licensing requirements
> separately from the copyright license of your work. I have seen too many
> poorly worded software copyright licenses where the intent was noble,
> but the implementation ended up in something that was non-Free or
> non-Open Source.

This, of course, is what I am trying to avoid...

> In Fedora, we require contributors to agree to the Fedora Project
> Contributor Agreement (https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Legal:FPCA), to
> ensure that contributions (of both code and content) accepted to Fedora
> are guaranteed to come with acceptable licensing terms, either via
> explicit licensing statement from the copyright holder or explicit
> agreement to the default license terms as stated in the FPCA. A similar
> model may work for your project, and the FPCA is available under
> CC-BY-SA 3.0 Unported (with section 4d waived), although if you do
> decide to generate a derived work, I strongly encourage you to have a
> lawyer sign off on it first, because Legalese != English.

Something like that would probably work nicely for the core. I will have
to spend some more time reading it, but it is much better than what I have
now, which is that you assign all IP for any modifications that you make.


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