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Re: BSD Protection License

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On Thu, 23 Oct 2003, Colin Percival wrote:
> Don Armstrong <don@donarmstrong.com> wrote:
>>No. Licenses are interpreted by judges and/or juries.
> Judges and/or juries, who are assumed to be reasonable. 

There's a profound diference between what you or I might consider
reasonable and what is reasonable in the context of the legal
interpretation of a license. Contracts and licenses that rely overmuch
on a "reasonable interpretation" are generally not well written.

(While Debian attempts to respect upstream's interpretation of the
license, I feel that the license should at least fulfill the DFSG on
its face without upstream's interpretation.)

>>Clauses like these may make the entire license null and void because
>>the license itself doesn't have a atomicity clause[1].
> Footnote parse error: Footnote not found.


1: More correctly called a severability clause, where the presence of
a clause that is against the law is severed from the license and the
remaining clauses are presumed to still have full force of law. [This
is in contrast to a indivisible contract or license... look at a
shrinkwrap license for whatever legalese is in vogue now.]

>> Again, I strongly suggest working with an attorney experienced in
>> license creation before writing a license like this or advocating
>> that people license their software under such a license.
>   I'm not advocating anything.

Publishing such a license could be construed as advocating it...
especially when coupled with the preamble as it seems to be. I can't
stress enough the need for appropriate legal counsel in a case like

> >Just for the record, I concur that the license is not DFSG Free.
> For the record, can you tell me specifically which parts of the DFSG
> are not satisfied by this license?

Sure. Because open and closed licenses are not defined, we must assume
that all derived works must fulfill both 3 and 4. 3c) violates DFSG

Therefore, the license is not DFSG free.

Don Armstrong

Quite the contrary; they *love* collateral damage. If they can make
you miserable enough, maybe you'll stop using email entirely. Once
enough people do that, then there'll be no legitimate reason left for
anyone to run an SMTP server, and the spam problem will be solved.

Craig Dickson <crdic@pacbell.net>


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