[License-discuss] license for code used for scientific results?

Bruce Perens bruce at perens.com
Mon Apr 30 18:42:34 UTC 2012

On 04/30/2012 10:13 AM, John Cowan wrote:
> Conditional copyright licenses are most closely analogous to 
> conditional licenses to enter land

Well, this is more than a bit of a stretch, but I can argue it this way 
if you like.
> Of course, in civil law land, licenses are contracts, period.
The difference is in how they are enforced.

To enforce a license to enter land, the plaintiff can ask for criminal 
action on basis of tresspass, tresspass being a greater offense than 
breach of contract. The defendant claims there was a license and the 
plaintiff shows why one did not exist in those particular circumstances.

Similarly, the plaintiff sues for copyright infringement rather than 
breach of contract, and doesn't set out to prove consent and otherwise 
build a contract case.

The only value in licenses is that they can be enforced. If you don't 
care about enforcement, publish what you want as a guideline, and live 
with the fact that not everyone will follow it.



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