[License-discuss] License which requires watermarking? (Attribution Provision)

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Tue Jan 1 04:17:06 UTC 2013

Quoting David Woolley (forums at david-woolley.me.uk):

> Eitan Adler wrote:
> >On 24 December 2012 22:10, ldr ldr <stackoverflowuser95 at gmail.com> wrote:
> >>John: I'd be happy with proprietary forks, as long as the Attribution
> >>provision would hold.
> >>
> >>E.g.: if they sell it to other people, those other people still are
> >>aware of my original project and have a link to it
> >
> >Aren't you looking for something similar to the 4-BSD license?
> >https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BSD_licenses#4-clause_license_.28original_.22BSD_License.22.29
> >
> And are you aware why no-one uses it any longer?
> (It makes it difficult to create derivative works based on many
> different components with advertising clauses.  One of the main
> freedoms in open source is to be able to use parts of someone else's
> code without reproducing their whole application.  A lot of people
> searching for licences seem to think only in terms of their whole
> application, or forks that only differ slightly.)

4-clause BSD _also_ doesn't satisfy "ldr ldr's" stated desire to require a
mandated badgeware notice (so-called "attribution") on every user
interface screen of the application and derivative works thereof.
It only requires preserving copyright notices present in source code
(e.g., for a Web-based work, embedding them in HTML comments), and the
inserting of a copryight and licence notice into bundled documentation.

The advertising clause in 4-clause BSD, to which you refer, was
considered 'obnoxious' in its day for the reasons you mention, and has
been largely phased out thanks to action by the U.C. Regents concerning
CSRG code, but at least it didn't rise to the level of noxiousness that
typical badgeware licensing does.  

As I said, I for one consider such badge-on-every-UI-screen licensing to
effectively violate OSD #6 (discrimination against fields of
endeavour), in that the every-UI-screen requirement cripples third-party
competing use.

I think that should fact be clear from, if nothing else, its origin in
SugarCRM, Inc. management's fury over the effrontery of vtiger Systems
(India) Private Limited in lawfully forking the SugarCRM 1.0 code under
the terms of MPL 1.0 and going into competition against them:  SugarCRM,
Inc. has consistently acted since then to ensure that nobody can create
any further viable commercial forks.  And that is the very essence of 
OSD #6 cripping of commercial reuse.

(BTW, if "ldr ldr" would change his/her GECOS field to something more
name-like, that would be handy, though no rule requires it.)

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