Re: an unspecific license
On Mon, 27 Nov 2000, Raul Miller wrote:
> > > > 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.
I haven't proposed any specific phrasing yet, just the concept.
> > > > 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.
"It" would not be released into the public domain... it would be
released with an unspecified DFSG free license to the enduser, someone
wishing to reuse the code (redistribute, derive a work from, whatever)
would not be allowed to change the license.
I don't see how someone could rerelease the work under a non-DFSG
license if the license it came with explicitly states that any
redistribution must use a specific license agreement (the one that came
with the original work).