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Re: an unspecific license

> > > What are the ramifications of releasing software with a statement
> > > of what type of license the software can be used under, instead of
> > > explicit terms and conditions?

On Sat, 25 Nov 2000, Raul Miller wrote:
> > The big question would be: did the author really mean what was said?

On Mon, Nov 27, 2000 at 04:36:01PM -0700, Bruce Sass wrote:
> I don't see how that would be relevant; if the words do not convey the
> author's intent then the author should have been more careful with
> what words were used. I mean, you have to work with what you have,
> anything else is fantasy, right.

Ok, I'll try to rephrase that.  The big question is: what would a court
say about what the author intended, given some nonspecific phasing such
as what you've proposed.

> > > e.g., If a package is release with the following license statement
> > >       (or whatever conveys the same intent, which I hope is clear):
> > > 
> > > 	This software can be used by individuals and corporations under
> > > 	the terms and conditions of any license that conforms to the
> > > 	Debian Free Software Guidelines.
> > 
> > Any license?  For example, public domain software meets DFSG.
> That is correct.

In that case, the software is essentially in the public domain.  You can
do anything with public domain software, including rereleasing it under
any non-DFSG license.

Which leads back to the first question: would a court agree that this
is what the author specified?

> > >       can one then go on to say...
> > > 
> > > 	Redistribution of this software, or any work derived from it,
> > > 	must contain this license statement.
> > 
> > I think this statement would be ambiguous.
> In what way?
> (keep in mind that both statements should be read as `the gist of it')
> If anything, I expected the last statement to be seen as potentially
> conflicting with a DFSG compliant license.

One reason it's ambiguous because once you release something into the
public domain you loose control over it and further re-releases no longer
have the restriction that the license statment must be included.



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