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Re: academic software without licence

On Monday 03 February 2003 20:06, Antoine Mathys wrote:
> >>"may be used without restriction" does not give you the right to
> >> distribute or modify.  Use clauses only govern actual use.
> >>
> >>I guess the bottom line is this software is probably not to be treated as
> >> free software unless/until the author says it is.  Rather annoying I
> >> know.
> Ok. Asking for the permission to distribute and modify is not enough. We
> need this permission for everyone. I must then ask the author to
> relicence the software (under the GPL for instance).
> As anybody experience with this? I would love to have a model of message
> that explains the issue and ask this politely. It should be targeted at
> academics.
> By the way, I don't know if they can relicense easily, or must go
> through a lot of  administrative hassle.

In my experience people do not realize that no license means no rights.  Many 
think that by not giving it a full copyright they are releasing it public 
domain.  What you need to explain to them is this key point.

If they want people to use their software it must have a license.  Suggest 
they use the BSD license.  It came out of academia and gives everyone equal 
access which is what many of them want.  The BSD is also very easy to read 
and understand being only a couple of paragraphs.

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