Some thoughts after a few hours reading this list and looking for a license.
david at einet.com.au
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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