Simplified Artistic License

Robert Samuel White webmaster at
Thu Oct 3 20:27:25 UTC 2002

Dear Russ,

When you say that you would "have a problem with that language now" in
reference to something written in the Artistic License, it only
reinforces one of the original reasons why I have asked for approval of
the Simplified Artistic License.  The Artistic License had its place,
and maybe it still does to some, but for others, and not just I, its
place has come to pass.  As an artist, I would like to use an artistic
license.  I don't need my license to be the "Robert Samuel White
License" -- approving the license as a template allows any one to use
the same artistic license for their individual products.  I think it's a
fine solution.

I have thought long and hard about which license to use.  It is the
reason in which I have chosen to write my own license.  I think there is
a need for it.  If you do not wish to approve it, that is your choice.
I will still, of course, continue to use the license.  Heck, maybe even
others will too.  I believe it is worth adding to the list of approved
licenses.  But if you don't share that point of view, that's fine, we
can end this discussion now and I will move on.

Twice now you have brought up the condition of charging fees for my
product, yet you neglect to consider the rest of that condition, namely:

"You may not charge any fees for the Package itself.  However, you may
distribute this Package in aggregate with other (possibly commercial)
programs as part of a larger (possibly commercial) software distribution
provided that you do not advertise this Package as a product of your

This statement is not dictating a price at all.  It is simply saying you
cannot sell *my* software.  It goes on to say you can sell *your*
software *with* my software (as long as you do not advertise *my*
product as *yours*).  It isn't just about price, it's also about
maintaining some semblance of artistic control and I think that it is a
fair statement and that it complies as an open source license under the

Do you still dispute this?  This was brought up on the list and I
modified this condition to give its further meaning.  If you do dispute
its validity, I am willing to hear you out.  I have listened to the
advice of every one on this list with the belief and anticipation of my
license being approved in the end.


-----Original Message-----
From: Russell Nelson [mailto:nelson at] 
Sent: Thursday, October 03, 2002 4:02 PM
To: Robert Samuel White
Cc: license-discuss at
Subject: RE: Modified Artistic License (eNetwizard Content Application

Robert Samuel White writes:
 > Taken from the Artistic License (which is approved by OSI):

 > You may not charge a fee for this Package itself.

Hrm.  I would have a problem with that language if it came up for
approval now.  The question is: whether we should approve another
license with language like this, and bless it further?  It's not a
term that belongs in an Open Source license.  Who cares how much
somebody pays for open source software.  The fact of the matter is
that somebody else can charge less for it, or even give it away.  So
why should the license dictate the price??

 > Why are you suddenly being hard nosed with me?

Because your license just isn't that different.  It just isn't.  How is 
the world served by Yet Another Not Very Different License?  The
answer: it isn't.  The main problem that your license solves, so it
would seem, is the world's raging lack of a Robert Samuel White
license.  While you may feel that pain, I doubt anybody else shares it.

And I'm not being hard-nosed with just you.  I've been hard-nosed with 
other people, and they've decided that an existing license would be

 >  > I want my license associated specifically with my product.  That's
 >  > very important to me...

I'd really, really like you to consider using an existing license.
Consider it *hard*.  If, in the end, against best advice, you want
your own license approved, you'll get it.

-russ nelson     |
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