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

Bruce Perens bruce at perens.com
Tue Jan 1 23:59:05 UTC 2013

On 01/01/2013 02:08 PM, Ken Arromdee wrote:
> Some people use ordinary GPL on libraries with the intent of crippling 
> competing commercial reuse (since any competitors have to release 
> their source and competitors wouldn't want to do that).  Is the GPL 
> also considered unfree when applied to libraries?

Be careful to avoid confusing the creation of derivative works with use, 
which are two separate rights under copyright law.

And although badgeware should in general be rejected, "crippling 
commercial reuse" is the wrong reason to reject badgeware.

The reason to reject it is that it complicates simple use. We'd really 
like it to be possible for people to use software without the need for 
some compliance process. That line is crossed when you create a 
derivative work. If you have to be sure to put badges on your web site 
for some set of software you use, possibly a very large set, then you 
have to keep track of the software and its license terms just to use it, 
and simple use is no longer simple. There is also no limit to the 
potential number of badges you might have to display.

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