I presume everyone who cares about this is already on the perl6-licenses
list, so I am taking it there, since many people do not want this on p5p.
At 1:16 -0700 2000.09.11, Russ Allbery wrote:
>Only those portions of a license that can be unambiguously relied upon are
>usable, in my opinion. I'd strongly encourage people, when working on
>software licenses, to stop thinking like programmers and start thinking
>like testers. The question you should be asking yourself when debugging a
>license is not "does this sound right" but rather "how can I break this,"
>for *exactly* the same reasons that you do the same when writing test
>cases for your code.
Fine, let's do that. Let's try to break this. :-)
> a) place your modifications in the Public Domain or otherwise make
> them Freely Available, such as by posting said modifications to Usenet
> or an equivalent medium, or placing the modifications on a major
> archive site such as uunet.uu.net, or by allowing the Copyright Holder
> to include your modifications in the Standard Version of the Package.
>Public Domain is clear, but what does Freely Available really mean?
That is defined already in the license.
"Freely Available" means that no fee is charged for the item
itself, though there may be fees involved in handling the item.
It also means that recipients of the item may redistribute it
under the same conditions they received it.
I don't see how that is vague at all. Maybe you just forgot that it was
defined at the top of the license?
>Posting modifications to Usenet doesn't void your copyright; does this
>mean that you have to allow people to use your code? Free of charge?
Yes, since that is addressed under the stated definition.
>you required to let people use your code as part of a commercial package?
Not your modifications, no, you aren't. You can make a GPL'd modification
of perl and release that modification separately. I think that is quite
clear. The only burden made on you to make your modification "freely
available" is that no fee may be charged for the item itself, and that
recipients may also redistribute it under the same conditions they've
received it. You could allow, disallow, or do anything you want with your
license, as long as it follows those two conditions.
>It's very unclear.
Hrm. I don't think so. Everything you've mentioned above seems quite
clear to me. Perhaps you could expound on _how_ it is unclear, because I
don't see it. Perhaps I am just being dense.
> 5. You may charge a reasonable copying fee for any distribution of this
> Package. You may charge any fee you choose for support of this Package.
> You may not charge a fee for this Package itself.
>I really have no idea what this means. I have a few guesses as to what
>it's *supposed* to mean, but I don't know if they're correct. It sounds
>like I can charge someone a reasonable (what's reasonable? who defines
Well, two things:
1. I think most people can tell what a reasonable copying fee is, though
I understand how you could try to use this as a "breaking" point
2. The Internet has pretty much rendered this moot for everybody; I simply
cannot think of a way in which this matters anymore
>fee for a copy of the package, but I can't chage them for
>using it? Unless that would count as support? (What's support in this
>context?) This is very unclear.
Again, no, of course you cannot charge someone for using it. It is my
package, and in order to charge people, you would have to change the
licensing terms, and since you aren't Copyright Holder, you can't do that.
You may not charge a fee for the item itself, and once the user has the
item, you cannot change the terms I've set up as to what the user may do
Support is basically whatever you want it to be ... I am not sure it
matters. You can't oblige people to accept your support as a condition for
use, so what's the difference? It's just saying that support is distinct
from the package itself.
> However, you may distribute this Package in aggregate with other
> (possibly commercial) programs as part of a larger (possibly commercial)
> software distribution provided that you do not advertise this Package as
> a product of your own.
>But if I distribute it by itself, I *can* advertise it as a product of my
Of course not. Why would you say that? Rights through omission? Such a
right is not even implied, that I can see.
> You may embed this Package's interpreter within an executable of yours
> (by linking); this shall be construed as a mere form of aggregation,
> provided that the complete Standard Version of the interpreter is so
>Er, either it's mere aggregation or not. There's no such thing as "mere
>aggregation *provided* that...." If it's mere aggregation, then copyright
>law says you can't impose any restrictions at all.
No restrictions are being imposed. It is defining what, exactly, falls
under mere aggregation.
>But copyright law
>actually fairly clearly states that this is *not* mere aggregation, as
>this is the creation of a derivative work, so the above clause contradicts
>From the Copyright Act:
>A ''derivative work'' is a work based upon one or more preexisting
>works, such as a translation, musical arrangement, dramatization,
>fictionalization, motion picture version, sound recording, art
>reproduction, abridgment, condensation, or any other form in which a
>work may be recast, transformed, or adapted. A work consisting of
>editorial revisions, annotations, elaborations, or other modifications
>which, as a whole, represent an original work of authorship, is a
I don't think embedding the complete Standard Version of the interpreter
could be considered a derivative work.
>I'm not saying that the license is hopelessly confused, just that there
>are portions of it that are very unclear
I disagree. Again, if you could expound on how it is unclear, it might be
helpful. You've stated some things as unclear that, as noted explicitly
above, seem quite clear to me.
>And please, folks, don't follow up and tell me what the AL means. If you
>have to tell me what it means, it's not clear enough; that's the entire
Hm. What license has NOT been explained to people in language other than
the original? :-)
I am not sure that is the point at all, let alone the entire point. As you
are fond of saying, the point here is whether or not it could stand up to
lawyers, or in court. It seems to me it could and would. Some lawyers may
disagree, but then again, what exists that all lawyers agree on?
Maybe if you showed how the things you noted above could be "broken," it
would help me to see how they are unclear.
Chris Nandor [EMAIL PROTECTED] http://pudge.net/
Open Source Development Network [EMAIL PROTECTED] http://osdn.com/