[License-discuss] Open Source Eventually License Development
zooko at zooko.com
Fri Aug 16 20:10:15 UTC 2013
On Thu, Aug 15, 2013 at 09:23:23PM -0400, Richard Stallman wrote:
> Tahoe-LAFS is licensed to the public under the "Transitive Grace Period Public
> Licence 1.0" [*]. Tahoe-LAFS is Free and Open software. The "Transitive Grace
> Period Public Licence" is an Open Source licence.
> Is that true? Or is it just a hypothetical example?
This is true:
> I don't recall studying this license. I am not sure what it says. It is not in our license-list.html page. So I don't know whether it is a free software license, and if it isn't, then Tahoe-LAFS is not free sotfware.
Tahoe-LAFS is also available under the GPL, at your option.
In addition it is my current belief that the TGPPL is a Free Software licence.
At least as much as the GNU All-Permissive License is -- the TGPPL permits
derived works to be proprietary, just as the GNU All-Permissive License does,
but the TGPPL permits such proprietary derived works only under limiting
conditions, unlike the GNU All-Permissive License, which allows proprietary
derived works unconditionally.
Tahoe-LAFS is available to the public under the terms of either licence, and so
the public has full rights to use the Tahoe-LAFS software freely, therefore
Tahoe-LAFS is Free Software.
> If you send me the text of this license, I can study it.
I'll append it to the end of this letter.
I've previously submitted it to the FSF for review. Brett Smith replied in
private email in December of 2010:
""" We haven't done a complete analysis (so please don't take this as the FSF's
official position), but my initial impression was that our opinion about
permissive licenses generally would extend to the TGPPL as well. Namely: the
TGPPL legally grants a recipient all the rights they need to have free
software. But when a user receives a particular work under the license's
terms, they may not have the source code that they need to practically exercise
those rights -- at least for a while. So the license itself is free, but you
need to look at a little more information to figure out whether a particular
user has freedom with a particular work under its terms. """
(I hope Brett does not mind that I quoted his email in public! It seems
appropriate and I think he won't mind.)
He also wrote a great deal more in a private conversation between him and me
about practical considerations.
By the way, I too am concerned about the practical issue that Brett raised: do
you have access to the source code that you would need in order to exercise
your rights? With Tahoe-LAFS and LeastAuthority.com, we have hitherto published
source code even when the user did not (yet) have full rights to it. That way,
there is no action or inaction on our part that could prevent the user from
subsequently exercising their rights.
I would be interested in a variant of the Transitive Grace Period Public
Licence which imposed that as a condition on the makers of derived works.
------- begin appended text of Transitive Grace Period Public Licence, v1.0
Transitive Grace Period Public Licence ("TGPPL") v. 1.0
This Transitive Grace Period Public Licence (the "License") applies to any
original work of authorship (the "Original Work") whose owner (the
"Licensor") has placed the following licensing notice adjacent to the
copyright notice for the Original Work:
*Licensed under the Transitive Grace Period Public Licence version 1.0*
1. **Grant of Copyright License.** Licensor grants You a worldwide,
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the copyright, to do the following:
a. to reproduce the Original Work in copies, either alone or as part of a
b. to translate, adapt, alter, transform, modify, or arrange the Original
Work, thereby creating derivative works ("Derivative Works") based upon
the Original Work;
c. to distribute or communicate copies of the Original Work and Derivative
Works to the public, with the proviso that copies of Original Work or
Derivative Works that You distribute or communicate shall be licensed
under this Transitive Grace Period Public Licence no later than 12
months after You distributed or communicated said copies;
d. to perform the Original Work publicly; and
e. to display the Original Work publicly.
2. **Grant of Patent License.** Licensor grants You a worldwide,
royalty-free, non-exclusive, sublicensable license, under patent claims
owned or controlled by the Licensor that are embodied in the Original
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and Derivative Works.
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preferred form of the Original Work for making modifications to it and
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unenforceable, such provision shall be reformed only to the extent
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14. **Definition of "You" in This License.** "You" throughout this License,
whether in upper or lower case, means an individual or a legal entity
exercising rights under, and complying with all of the terms of, this
License. For legal entities, "You" includes any entity that controls, is
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definition, "control" means (i) the power, direct or indirect, to cause
the direction or management of such entity, whether by contract or
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15. **Right to Use.** You may use the Original Work in all ways not otherwise
restricted or conditioned by this License or by law, and Licensor
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16. **Modification of This License.** This License is Copyright Â© 2007 Zooko
Wilcox-O'Hearn. Permission is granted to copy, distribute, or communicate
this License without modification. Nothing in this License permits You to
modify this License as applied to the Original Work or to Derivative
Works. However, You may modify the text of this License and copy,
distribute or communicate your modified version (the "Modified License")
and apply it to other original works of authorship subject to the
following conditions: (i) You may not indicate in any way that your
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"TGPPL" and you may not use those names in the name of your Modified
License; and (ii) You must replace the notice specified in the first
paragraph above with the notice "Licensed under <insert your license name
here>" or with a notice of your own that is not confusingly similar to
the notice in this License.
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