Best base license to pick?

Jason White jasonjgw at
Thu Feb 10 05:06:46 UTC 2005

Lawrence Rosen writes:

 > The form of modified works should not be dictated by the licensor. The
 > notion that a license would restrict me to "pristine+patches" or
 > distribution in "modified form" is an attempt to legislate a technology
 > alternative that a downstream licensee shouldn't have to accept. (For
 > example, what is "pristine+patches" or "modified form" when an object
 > invokes another object?)

The principle enunciated above is important to capture: the licensor
shouldn't be able to dictate the form which derived works take.
 > As for the concern for the purity of their original code that seems to
 > consume some licensors, I tried to solve that problem with the "Attribution
 > Rights" provision of the OSL. (See section 6.) A licensor can place a notice
 > like the following in his source code:

This not only addresses the problem, but is preferable to the
requirement imposed by some licenses that modified versions must carry
non-standard names (this is usually applied to executables although
there is no reason in principle why it shouldn't be applicable to
libraries also). Although opinions can reasonably differ, I suggest
that a license establishing a renaming requirement should be regarded
as acceptable, but one restricting the form in which derived works are
distributed (e.g., patches) should not.

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