[License-discuss] plain text license versions?

Ben Reser ben at reser.org
Fri Sep 7 18:20:55 UTC 2012

On Fri, Sep 7, 2012 at 10:58 AM, Ben Tilly <btilly at gmail.com> wrote:
> The location of the license text is not a provision of the license.
> Some licenses, for instance the GPL, actually say that you have to
> distribute the license along with the work.  Others leave the matter
> silent.  Either way the license is an open source license.

Right I realized that the location of the license text isn't a
provision of the license.

> You may argue that software with an uninterpretable license is not
> really open.  This is not a problem.  Open source does not mean
> copyleft.  A lot of open source licenses allow people to incorporate
> the software in proprietary products, and you don't even have to be
> told it is there.

And yes that is exactly what I meant.

You're right I wasn't really considering the permissive licenses.  I
can see why not including the license is an important ability for

> I have heard people who have distributed embedded software with GPLed
> components disagree with this.  Adding the GPL inside of a device that
> nobody can interact with the inside of is pretty useless, and is
> frustrating when they are often left fighting for every byte.  Given
> the number of devices with embedded computers, this is not exactly a
> small use case.

Another excellent point.

Thanks for your insightful post.  I can see why people might want to
waive the right to require the license.

I do still think as an author it's incredibly foolish and counter
productive to not include the license text with your work.

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