FOR APPROVAL - Python License Changes

John Cowan cowan at
Wed May 25 21:52:52 UTC 2011

Lawrence Rosen scripsit:

> Van, I've never really understood the Python licensing situation. It
> was there before I arrived on the scene (guess how old that makes it!)
> and I decided to just let it be without questioning its provenance.
> Most FOSS software nowadays is composed of contributions under
> different licenses from many authors. Most distributors aggregate
> those works and distribute that software under a single license
> (perhaps even GPL or Apache). So what is unique about Python that
> it still requires multiple licenses for its distribution? Can't
> the Python Foundation find a single license that covers the
> entire Python collective or derivative work that they are now
> distributing? Hopefully an existing license so that we can limit
> proliferation....

>From what I understand, only the top-level license is operative.  Other
licenses are there because their own conditions say they must be carried
along with derivatives of the old code, but all old code has acquired
enough patches that it is no longer available solely on the terms of old

I may be quite wrong about this.

With techies, I've generally found              John Cowan
If your arguments lose the first round
    Make it rhyme, make it scan                 cowan at
    Then you generally can
Make the same stupid point seem profound!           --Jonathan Robie

More information about the License-review mailing list