Simplified Artistic License [osd]

Robert Samuel White webmaster at
Tue Oct 8 18:18:58 UTC 2002

Okay, this is getting out of hand.

Russ, the reference you made to my license in your most recent post is
from an older version of the proposed license.  And I am not merely
seeking to put my NAME on the license -- as I have stated several times

Please refer to my recent posts and you would see that:

- First and foremost, I want a license which is less complicated than
the existing licenses.

- Second, I want changes to my source code to be properly documented.

- Third, I want to prevent my name and the name of my product from being
used as an endorsement I did not give.  (On this point it is very
similar to you wanting to prevent others from using OSI certification
marks as endorsements you did not approve.)

- And fourth, I want the license approved as a TEMPLATE so it can be

How can you so blindly make accusations that are false, and at best,

Refer to the original post with this same subject line.

Thank you.

-----Original Message-----
From: Nathan Kelley [mailto:phyax at] 
Sent: Sunday, October 06, 2002 8:38 PM
To: Robert Samuel White
Subject: Re: Simplified Artistic License [osd]

To Robert Samuel White,

>>> From: Robert Samuel White <webmaster at>,
>> From: Nathan Kelley <phyax at>,
> From: Robert Samuel White <webmaster at>,

>> (I'll send this to the list when Runbox's SMTP server starts working 
>> again. It's unusual for it to be working incorrectly...)
>>> Below is also the license as a template, which is what I would 
>>> request for approval.
>> I noticed you removed the list of definitions and replaced it with a 
>> preamble. This is common to most of the simple licenses. This makes 
>> my point (1) irrelevant.
>>> - All distributions of this Package, and its derivatives, are 
>>> subject to this License. Software offered in conjunction with this 
>>> Package is not necessarily subject to this condition.
>> This satisfies my point (2).
>>> - If the source code was modified in any way, each file that was 
>>> modified must include the statement "this file was modified from its

>>> original version" along with appropriate comments indicating how and

>>> why the file was modified; these comments should be placed directly 
>>> underneath the first comment section of each file. If these changes 
>>> are being made for a binary distribution only, you must indicate 
>>> that you are using a modified version of the Package.
>> This satisfies my point (3).
>> At this point, I believe the license satisfies the requirements of 
>> the OSD.
>> Where we go from here is an interesting question...
> There is still one issue left to address, I feel. I was wondering if 
> you could give me your advice on this...
> Does this license clearly allow for the copying of any/all part of the

> code for use into other things, such as the GNU license does? If it 
> doesn't, it should.

It doesn't *clearly* say so, no, despite the fact there are provisions 
in there dealing with derivatives. To make it clearly say so, I would 
suggest modifying the introductory sentence to say:

"You may redistribute and use this Package and any derivative work of 
the Package, in source and binary forms, with or without modification, 
provided that the following conditions are met:"

> Does this license allow others to copyright their own "extensions" to 
> my products. For example, others could contribute by creating 
> "objects" or "wizards" or even "components" which complement 
> eNetwizard Content Management Server. These items would use the server

> code, but they are an extension of it. I fear my license may have the 
> image that their code would be copyrighted to me, and I don't want 
> that of course.

Nothing explicitly in the content of the license appears to transfer, 
or attempt to transfer, the copyright of anyone else's work to you. 
That said, I think this question should best go to the list; not being 
a legal expert I wouldn't be comfortable giving you any advice on this 

> Also, how do I address the issue of letting others collaborate with me

> on this project? I want them to be properly recognized for their work 
> and to at the very least "share" the copyright with me on those 
> things. I am not a business and my team are just individuals around 
> the world, so I cannot copyright it under a business name, can I?  Or 
> should I? What do you think about this?
> Basically, all I want my license to restrict on is that changes to 
> *the product itself* (not the extensions that are not included, for 
> example) are documented properly, that's about the gist of my license 
> to me.

Since the license doesn't permit others to use the name of the 
Copyright Holder (in this case, you) or the name of the product (in 
this case, eNetWizard) for any derivative works or as an 
endorsement/promotion of said works, then your only concern would come 
from people re-using your source in their own packages to do the same 
thing. While you can't prevent that and remain OSD compliant, people 
that have done that in the past have found themselves smeared all over 
the Open Source community for attempting to ride the coattails of 
others' work.

With that in mind, you the are only left with code re-use for other 
projects, or extensions to your project in other directions, which you 
have already said are acceptable.

There are three ways you can approach the issue of collaboration: one 
is to have people working on changes transfer their copyright to you, 
so that all the work on eNetWizard is copyright of the Copyright 
Holder; two is to change your license so that the restrictions on 
derivatives and endorsements/promotions that apply to the Copyright 
Holder also apply to "Authorised Contributors", who are "Authorised" by 
the Copyright Holder to make changes and still call their modifications 
eNetWizard; or three is your idea - to have a legal entity, such as a 
business name, as the Copyright Holder and have everyone contributing 
covered by that name.

As before, I recommend you pose these questions to the list for a real 
legal expert to answer. My take on it though is that, since you want to 
maintain control of eNetWizard, it is easiest to get contributors to 
transfer their copyright to you, and you acknowledging their 
contributions anywhere where the 'credits' for the program are shown.

> I really do believe it would be *easier* to just use an existing 
> license; I certainly wouldn't be going through the major ordeal of 
> designing my own. But it wouldn't be the right choice - eNetwizard is 
> too important and the license is basically its very foundation. The 
> second I release eNetwizard to the world under a license, I have 
> branded it. The license just has to be right for it.

I tried looking at your site to find out what eNetWizard is all about, 
but couldn't connect to I'd be better able to 
evaluate whether your license meets your needs if I understood what 
eNetWizard is - I must admit you've piqued my curiosity! If you don't 
feel comfortable telling me, I'll understand.

Cheers, Nathan.

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