[License-discuss] plain text license versions?

Richard Fontana rfontana at redhat.com
Thu Sep 6 21:48:42 UTC 2012

On Thu, Sep 06, 2012 at 02:37:38PM -0700, Lawrence Rosen wrote:
> Is distribution of the *link* to the license sufficient compliance with this requirement? 

For licenses that appear literally to require inclusion of a copy of
the license text? I have wondered whether we ought to start treating
that as a reasonable modern interpretation of such requirements, given
that many developers aren't bothering to bundle license texts to begin

 - RF

> /Larry (from my tablet and brief) 
> Luis Villa <luis at tieguy.org> wrote:
> >On Thu, Sep 6, 2012 at 12:14 PM, Lawrence Rosen <lrosen at rosenlaw.com> wrote:
> >> Karl Fogel wrote:
> >>> Many coders expect to find plaintext license terms in a LICENSE or
> >>> COPYING file, directly in the source tree.
> >>
> >> I'd count that as another reason *not* to provide plain text license files. I think it would be FAR more useful to have a simple license statement in the source tree of each program that points to the OFFICIAL version of that license on the OSI website. This also avoids the duplication of text -- with potential transcription or legal errors -- in many source code trees, and completely avoids the need to actually read the licenses if one trusts OSI.
> >>
> >> Doesn't CC do that, in a way, with their license logos?
> >
> >More specifically, CC does it with the requirement in the license that
> >attribution notices link to the canonical text. Many OSS software
> >licenses, unfortunately, require distribution of the actual text of
> >the license.
> >
> >Luis
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