[License-discuss] Open source license with obligation to display an attribution

Thorsten Glaser tg at mirbsd.de
Tue Dec 4 17:39:13 UTC 2018

Antoine Thomas dixit:

>For web apps, you can add an attribution file at a known path, e.g:
>foo.com/attribution.md, this is easy to check even if the link is not

No, this will absolutely not work, imposing the presence of
certain files/locations is too onerous.

The use case is interesting, but I’d think something like
the BSDs have, where you have to reproduce it either in the
software itself or the accompanying documentation, perhaps
in combination with several others’ “in the place where such
notices are normally shown”, together with all other such
notices, would work.

In any case, you as upstream will have to check each individual
software that could use your work, because it also is not feasible
to require anything out of that itself. (Hm, I don’t know how to
word this best.) This would also fail the “Chinese Dissident” test
and thus not be DFSG-free, which, while not identical to OSD, is
a generally good test. (Chris, you’re reading here and are better
at English than me, perhaps you can help reword that?) The basic
idea is that you cannot require something off a downstream other
than that which said downstream gives to their downstreams; public
notices would endanger people under totalitarian governments, and
requirements of publication would not work for people on a desert
island either.

„Cool, /usr/share/doc/mksh/examples/uhr.gz ist ja ein Grund,
mksh auf jedem System zu installieren.“
	-- XTaran auf der OpenRheinRuhr, ganz begeistert
(EN: “[…]uhr.gz is a reason to install mksh on every system.”)

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