Simplified Artistic License [osd]

Robert Samuel White webmaster at
Tue Oct 8 20:07:41 UTC 2002

Larry, I can't afford an attorney, as you already know.  And I cannot
use one of the existing licenses because it does not feel right to me to
do so.  I'm creating this software from my heart.  I've delayed
releasing it because of the license issue.  As soon as I release my
software under a specific license, I have effectively branded its terms
and conditions for use and distribution.  I'm not inclined to take that
matter lightly.  I'm really not interested in all of this mud slinging.
I may have inadvertently started it but it was not my intentions.
Personally, I think Russ was highly critical and even offensive, without
provocation.  That is what I was mad about.  When I first approached him
about my license, he explained to me that my license would be reviewed
by the members of license-discuss; he never mentioned that he or the
board was trying to prevent new similar licenses from being added to
their list of approved licenses.  It should have been obvious my license
was similar from the get go.  The first I heard about it was in a very
rude email from him.  I reacted.  For that, I apologize to every one.
As far as I'm concerned, I'm still working out a few issues with my
license.  Once I have worked those issues out on my own, I will release
my software.  Whether or not others choose to use my license (or my
software, for that matter), is up to them.  It doesn't change the fact
that one must always follow their heart, and their inner wisdom, in
these matters.  I believe that this discussion has long reached its
usefulness and should be ended now.

-----Original Message-----
From: Lawrence E. Rosen [mailto:lrosen at] 
Sent: Tuesday, October 08, 2002 3:45 PM
To: 'Robert Samuel White'; license-discuss at
Subject: RE: Simplified Artistic License [osd]

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

You're entitled to that, but we've warned you to consult an attorney.
"Complexity" is related to "enforceability."  Attorneys will almost
certainly not recommend your license to their clients because it is not
a professionally-written license.  (Neither is my software
professionally written -- as an attorney I expect programmers to write
my software; as a programmer, you should expect an attorney to write
your license.)

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

Depending upon what constraints you place on derivative works, you may
run afoul of the OSD with this goal.  But that is not intended as a
criticism of your current license, which I don't have time right now to

> - 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.)

One more time, let me explain that OSI protects its certification marks
by trademark law, not copyright licenses, and you should consider doing
the same to protect the name of your product.

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

Commendable goal.  But don't get your hopes up that your license will be
adopted by other projects.  

/Larry Rosen

license-discuss archive is at

More information about the License-discuss mailing list