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Re: FYI: Zope Public License 1.1 vague, contradictory, and not DFSG-free

* Branden Robinson <branden@debian.org> [010905 05:19]:
> Version 1.1 of the Zope Public License was recently released.  It has a
> lot of problems.
> http://www.zope.org/Resources/ZPL

Thanks for pointing out the new revision of the license, I hadn't
noticed it myself yet.

A few quick comments:

Once upon a time, ZPL 1.0 was informally certified by the OSI as an Open
Source license (in fact, IIRC, it was the first 'new' license OSI
approved at all). For some reason, it's not included in OSI's current
list of approved licenses. I have pointed this out to both OSI and
Digital Creations months ago, but no reaction at all. So much for that.

ZPL 1.1 is almost identical to ZPL 1.0. The only changes is that (a)
they have removed clause 3 of the ZPL 1.0 (which was an informal but
non-binding request to include an attribution button) and renumbered the
subsequent clauses, and (b) they have changed all occurrences of
Digitial Creations into Zope Corporations (since the licensor had been

Therefore, ZPL 1.1 didn't introduce anything new that made the ZPL

Now we have to go on and discuss whether ZPL 1.0 is free according to
the DFSG.

At first, I'd like to point out that the FSF lists the ZPL as a
GPL-incompatible, Free Software License
and comments:

    This is a simple, fairly permissive non-copyleft free software
    license with practical problems like those of the original BSD
    license, including incompatibility with the GNU GPL.

    We urge you not to use the license of Zope for software you
    write. However, there is no reason to avoid running programs
    that have been released under this license, such as Zope.

Just a few weeks ago I asked RMS to comment on the ZPL (1.0 at that
time), and he came up with a few suggestions to rewrite the license, but
with a general conclusion that the comment mentioned above is true from
the viewpoint of the FSF.

I.e. the ZPL 1.0 is a FSF-free license.

I'll dig out RMS' comments as soon as time permits, and see whether he
attacks the same points as you.


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