[License-discuss] Newbie post: Localisable open source software license

David Woolley forums at david-woolley.me.uk
Mon Oct 21 13:29:59 UTC 2013

On 21/10/13 07:39, Maxthon Chan wrote:

> There is a project, Creative Commons, that focuses on providing free
> license for art, music and works alike. They tackled the localisation
> issue well, by providing localised licenses that is interchangeable with

No they don't.  All the licences seem to be in English.  What is 
localised is the lay person's summary of the licence.  E.g., the Chinese 
summary of CC-BY-SA, is 
<http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.zh>, but the first 
link on that page (法律文本(许可协议全文)), 
<http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/legalcode>, points to the 
English language text of the actual licence.

> each other, even in the copyleft variants.However Creative Commons does
> not work well with software. I can CC license my documentations but not
> the software itself.

> I would like to know your opinions on a localisable open source license.

In general, a translation of a licence is a different licence, because 
one cannot exactly translate from one language to another.  In fact, one 
could probably argue that choice of law needs to be specified, as well.

Although Creative Commons have chosen to create the lay versions of the 
licence, I suspect many open source drafters would not want to do so, 
because users might believe that the summary is the licence.

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