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

John Cowan cowan at mercury.ccil.org
Mon Apr 30 19:46:24 UTC 2012

Kevin Hunter scripsit:

> We're not tied to OSI approval; that statement was more of an attempt
> to elucidate that we were hoping for an OSI approved license if it
> existed, and to ask if the text of the OSI licenses was free for us to
> munge into our own license.  In essence, what is the license for each
> OSI license?

It depends on the license.  For the GPL and LGPL, changes are explicitly
forbidden.  Some licenses have a provision (typically at the end)
letting you clone the license with modifications provided you change the
name and remove all references to the original license.  Others, like
MIT or BSD, are effectively short and un-creative enough to be treated
as public domain or at least fair use (and everyone does).

But it makes no difference, because you can always say "licensed under
the XYZ license with the following additional restrictions/permissions".
The GPL and LGPL have language allowing the recipient to ignore
additional restrictions if they aren't of specified types, but that only
works when the original code was issued under the straight GPL/LGPL.

John Cowan <cowan at ccil.org>             http://www.ccil.org/~cowan
Sir, I quite agree with you, but what are we two against so many?
    --George Bernard Shaw,
         to a man booing at the opening of _Arms and the Man_

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