Some thoughts after a few hours reading this list and looking for a license.

David Ryan david at
Mon Feb 7 05:42:20 UTC 2005

The topic sums it up.  I've been reading this list and reading OSI 
approved licenses for most of the day.  I'm currently developing 
software which I'd like to distribute with something like the Qt Public 
license.  So, some thoughts in no particular order.

1) The Qt public license has its jurisdiction in Norway.  Can I change 
this to Victoria, Australia and still claim it is OSI approved?  Infact 
many licenses have very specific names in them.  What can/can't be 
changed so that they can be applied to another company or product?

2) The Qt Public License seems to fit my requirements;  it is simple and 
outlines the basic framework of usage I'd like.  However after finding 
discussion of the Reciprocal Public License, I've recognised areas where 
it is lacking.  eg. Patents.  The Reciprocal Public License however, 
forces any users of the software to also use the RPL.  I'd prefer to 
allow software that uses the library to be released under any OSI 
approved license.  It seems I'm stuck with having to create a new license?

3) One possibility is that I follow Trolltech's lead with a dual 
license.  However as much as I read on the issue, I have trouble with 
the problem of patches.  An important reason for choosing the Qt Public 
License is so that as a business any changes a user makes to the code 
can be legally applied to the original source.  In a dual license 
approach, a user can license the code as GPL and make changes which then 
I would not be able to apply to the original source as the other 
developers code would introduce GPL code into the original.  I would 
then not be able to distribute with the dual license.  Is there a simple 
solution to this problem I'm missing?

4) After reading the thread about the OZPLB problems with Australian 
law, it seems it is likely that any license I choose will not be 
(atleast in part) valid in Australia.  A solution was presented which 
copies the Creative Commons approach of having a set of ideals and 
mapping those to jurisdictions.  This sounds like a great idea.  Is 
anyone working on such an ideal?

5) Continuing on from the Creative Commons approach.  It seems that 
there could be a base license with optional clauses.  For myself, some 
optional clauses above the base copyleft license would be:
          - Modifications must be licensed to the original developer. 
(ie Qt License)
          - Programs linked with the software must be licensed under any 
OSI license.(ie Qt License)
          - Any patents owned by the licensor may be used with the 
license. (ie RPL)
    There are probably other clauses.  However the point is that there 
is probably a reaonably small number of choices which can be made.  I 
would much prefer to be able to pick and add a couple of clauses than 
have to attempt to put together a new license.

Thanks for any help..

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