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Re: Xbae widget license

Scripsit Don Armstrong <don@donarmstrong.com>
> On Tue, 04 Mar 2003, Joop Stakenborg wrote:

> > Permission to use, copy, modify and distribute this material for any
> > purpose and without fee is hereby granted,

> I'm concerned that this restricts us (or our cd vendors) from being
> able to distribute the material for a fee [ie, on cd images and the
> like.]

The wording is ambiguous and unfortunate, but unfortunately also
traditional. Unless we know positively that the author intends
otherwise, we usually interpret it as:

   You get permission to do such-and-such. You get this permission for
   any purpose. You get this permission without paying me any fee.

It wouldn't hurt if the prosepective maintainer could politely
approach the upstream author and suggest that "without fee" be moved
to after "is hereby granted" such that the abmiguity goes away.

> > I am a bit worried about the line: 'that the name of any author not
> > be used in advertising or publicity bla bla'. Debian won't
> > explicitely advertise this widget I guess, so that would be okay?

> That worried me a bit as well,

It essentially comes from the BSD license. I think it is benign.
Basically such a clause makes sure that someone who distributes the
code (perhaps with modification) cannot launch an advertising campaign
that gives the impression that it is a quality in itself that Joseph
R. Programmer wrote the code. Such a campaign could cause
J.R.P. considerable grief if he actually wrote the code in three hours
and never tested it beyond verifying that it worked on the problem he
needed to solve that night, because people would then think that the
code is representative of the code that he offers to write for money.
Also, it seems reasonable that if the author's name in itself is
valuable enough to attract business in excess of what the programs
functionality could do, he ought to have a share of the extra profits
made that way.

Henning Makholm                   "Jeg mener, at der eksisterer et hemmeligt
                                 selskab med forgreninger i hele verden, som
                         arbejder i det skjulte for at udsprede det rygte at
                      der eksisterer en verdensomspændende sammensværgelse."

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