Re: Help with the Bloom Public License
Scripsit Drew Scott Daniels <umdanie8@cc.UManitoba.CA>
> It's available at: http://www.cbloom.com/bpl.txt
Hm, first of all, clause 1 seems to severely restrict which software
the author himself is allowed to distribute. If he gives his neighbor
a disk with GCC on it, he will be in trouble with the GPL, or be lying
in his own license.
> Item 2 asks that the distributor "MUST notify" "the recipient". I'm
> guessing that a license file is not good enough?
It is unclear to say the least.
Clause 3 is a compilation of several statements that are not all
mutually consistent. For example, subclause A states that "usage which is
legal under the GNU Public License (GPL) is also legal under the BPL",
while subclause D implies that there are restictions on commercial
> Item 5 states that "BPL code may not be sold in any form." If item 3A
> (regarding GPL usage of the code) is clarified could item 5 be left?
If the clarification is in the form of an explicit and unconditional
permission to revert to plain GPL, then nothing else can stop it from
being DFSG-free. However, such a clarification would be inconsistent
with the second half of clause 2.
> Item 6 seems to be an advertising clause. I forget the history with
> advertising clauses, but it at least seems undesirable.
It is more than an advertising clause; it is a restriction on program
behavior. I'd judge this to be more orneous than the DFSG can bear.
> Item 8 forbidding the sale of code and forbidding distribution fees looks
> like it needs to be removed
> Item 9 requiring the "author" to be "notified" about commercial use may be
> a problem.
Yes, but may be solved by redefining "commercial application" to mean
proprietary programs. The second half of clause 9 seems to reserve the
author's right to revoke or change the license retrospectively as he
pleases; this is also not DFSG-free.
> Item 10 is a no warranty clause. In some EULA's I see today, there's a
> provision addressing the possibility of the need or an automatic warranty
> in some jurisdictions. Is that kind of provision needed?
I don't think so. Apparently EULA authors are trying to work around
the risk that a court will tell them,
"Our local law does not allow you to disclaim responsibility for
X. Therefore, your statement where you disclaim responsibiltity
for X and Y is invalid. Therefore, you are responsible for Y."
I have trouble imagining this kind of reasoning being applied to a
product that is being offered for free - but no matter what, such
working-around is not relevant for DFSG-freedom.
> From: Charles Bloom <email@example.com>
> It looks like DFSG requires users to make their code available (right?), so
> I would be fine with that.
This is a misunderstood reading. On the contrary, the DFSG (at least
the way it is applied in practise) does *not* allow licenses which
require users or authors-of-derived-works to disclose their code to
other parties than those they decide to offer compiled code to.
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