FOR APPROVAL - Python License Changes

VanL van.lindberg at
Wed May 25 19:36:20 UTC 2011

On 5/25/2011 11:00 AM, josh at wrote:
> Van,
> Speaking as a user, and not as an attorney, is it really necessary to 
> have 3 different licenses for Python?  Not that much of anyone uses 
> 1.6.1, but users are going to expect even old versions of Python to be 
> under the same license as new versions, and be pretty surprised when 
> they're not.
> If there are legal reasons why you can't reconcile these licenses, 
> then at the very least you're going to need an extensive FAQ about it. 
>  I'm also not keen on 3 separate licenses from an anti-proliferation 
> standpoint.  You can tell people that two of them are depreciated, but 
> as a PostgreSQL project member I'll tell you that does no good at all.
> I'm sure you've had these discussions on python mailing lists, so if 
> you could post a link we could read up and not force you to rehash the 
> same arguments.

This is being driven by a couple different things. First, and primarily, 
there are a few projects to reconcile the various licenses and have 
unique identifiers for each. They were the ones that initially 
approached us about getting this done. The board of the PSF agreed, so 
here we are.

Second, I hear you about license proliferation, but this is not creating 
*new* licenses, really. It is recognizing the various legacy licenses 
that are already there.

Third, from a Python perspective, we were having people putting stuff 
out "under the Python license" or "under the PSF license."  I want that 
to be well-defined, without having weird things in the license like 
having a specified (and for a non-Python project, wrong) copyright holder.



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