Re: How might I convince my school not to use this product?
Elizabeth Fong wrote:
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> My school is looking into installing Stanford's Coursework application for
> managing online course sites:
> However, its license seems to be decidedly non-free, and I'm trying to
> convince my school not to use it. This is for the following reasons:
> 1.) It requires Sun's JRE
> 2.) It requires Oracle, and has limited support for Free alternatives
> (experimental support for Postgre only)
> 3.) Its license (http://getcoursework.stanford.edu/license.html) is
>> Open Source License
>> Copyright © 2004 Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior
>> University License Agreement
>> By obtaining and/or copying the application or source code for
> you agree that you have read, understand, and will comply with the
> following terms and conditions of the License.
>> Title and copyright in CourseWork and any associated documentation will
> all times remain with the Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior
> University (Stanford). Subject to the terms and conditions of this
> Agreement, Stanford hereby grants to any person obtaining a copy of
> CourseWork a nonexclusive, royalty-free license under only any copyright
> interest Stanford has in CourseWork to use, copy, modify, merge, publish,
> perform and/or distribute copies of CourseWork, and to permit persons to
> whom CourseWork is furnished to do so.
> Doesn't say anything about distributing derivative works - one has the
> to create them, but not to distribute them.
The interpretation of "modify and/or distribute" by most copyright holders
seems to have been that it allows the distribution of modified copies. The
University of Washington was the exception. Maybe it's worth asking
Stanford what they mean and hanging on to the answer.
> In addition, doesn't specify
> that derivative works have the same license applied.
Doesn't have to, since this is "BSD-style"; you can license your derivative
work however you want, apparently.
>> CourseWork may not be distributed in any form for a fee.
> Clearly not Free, since it doesn't allow charging for the time/media for
> making a copy
>> Distributions of CourseWork in source code and/or executable form must
> retain all copyright notices in the Software as furnished by the Licensor,
> this list of conditions, and the following disclaimers in the code,
> documentation and/or other materials provided with the distribution.
>> Neither the names of Stanford, nor the names of any contributors to
> CourseWork, nor any of their trademarks or service marks, may be used to
> endorse or promote products derived from this Software without express
> prior written permission of Stanford.
> I forget whether this is permissible for DFSG-free.
Yes, but only because it's a no-op -- this is apparently always true, pretty
much, even if it's not specified. IANAL, though.
>> Except for the license granted you under Stanford's copyright interest in
> CourseWork, Stanford retains all right, title and interest in CourseWork
> and any intellectual property rights in CourseWork. Without limiting the
> foregoing, no license is granted you or any other party under any patent
> owned or held by Stanford.
> In other words, all your modifications are belong to Stanford. Wonderful.
No, this is just the usual "we don't grant anything not explicitly granted".
>> COURSEWORK IS PROVIDED AS IS AND WITH ALL FAULTS. THERE IS NO WARRANTY OF
> ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED. ALL WARRANTIES ARE EXPRESSLY DISCLAIMED
> INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO ANY WARRANTIES OF TITLE, MERCHANTABILITY,
> FITNESS FOR PARTICULAR PURPOSE, NONINFRINGEMENT OR ARISING OUT OF A
> PARTICULAR COURSE OF DEALING. YOUR USE OF THE SOFTWARE IS AT YOUR OWN
> RISK. IN NO EVENT SHALL ANY LICENSOR BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR
> OTHER LIABILITY, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE,
> RELATING TO, ARISING FROM OR IN CONNECTION WITH SOFTWARE OR ANY USE OF THE
>> CourseWork is provided under the terms of this license without support,
> with no commitments stated or implied, for technical assistance,
> modification or upgrade from the Licensor.
> Standard no warranty stuff
> Any suggestions? Alternatives I might suggest?
First, ask them if you can charge for your modifications to CourseWork; if
you can, that deals with the problem of 'no fee'. :-)
Ideally, they would
* make explicit that you may charge for derivative works
* make explicit the permission to distribute derivative works
* specify that the "Names must not be used" bit is simply a disclaimer,
rather than a license condition
Those changes would make the license a perfect non-copyleft license....
however, I'm not sure you'll be able to get all of that.
There are none so blind as those who will not see.