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Re: BSD Protection License

At 10:38 23/10/2003 +0100, MJ Ray wrote:
I am assuming from this that you wish a CC to be sent to you, although you have not requested one.

Thanks. On the lists I normally frequent, it is normal to CC replies (especially if there is reason to think that the person for whom the response is intended is not a subscriber); I just noticed that debian's "code of conduct" for lists forbid this.

Judges and/or juries, who are assumed to be reasonable. I don't see that there is any confusion inherent in a license which states "You may do X if Y. You may do X if Z"; but even if there was confusion, it is to be interpreted in a manner which makes sense.

Please explain why you think that the normal interpretation of "You may do X if Y and Z" is not a reasonable interpretation. If it leaves your licence inconsistent, then we must be cautious about it. If you wish to have "You may do X if Y or Z" then you should state that.

license n. 1. A permit from an authority to own or use something, do a particular thing, or carry on a trade.
license v. 1. grant a license to. 2. authorize.

Licenses *grant* the authority to take certain actions; they do not *restrict* one's ability to take actions. I hope you'll agree that
1. You may do X
2. You may do Y
3. You may do Z
means "you may take any, all, or none, of the actions X,Y,Z"; likewise, clauses 2, 3, and 4 each provide alternatives -- you may take actions permitted under any of those clauses.

For the record, can you tell me specifically which parts of the DFSG are not satisfied by this license?

We are currently centering on not meeting DFSG 3, but I think that questions remain on 5, 6 and 7 too.

DFSG 3 is simply a question of understanding what the license says (ok, to be pedantic, what it *trys* to say). Next chance I get, I'll ask one of the fellows here in .ox.ac.uk how such a disjunction would be interpreted by the courts; if he thinks it's unclear, I'll reword the license to change that. DFSG 5 and 6... well, you *might* consider this license to violate those, but only if you also consider the GPL to be in violation -- the relevant section is identical between the two licenses.
  DFSG 7... huh?

I don't really have the time and I don't like this licence, especially the preamble which seems to suggest that commercial developers of GPL'd software like me are doing something wrong. That may be your opinion, but I don't have to like it.

To be fair, I didn't expect many people to like this license -- which is one reason I only came here to discuss it after someone else (Adam Majer) decided he wanted to bring my code into debian.

As regards the "BSD Protection Licence" name, I think that this borders on misrepresentation of the licence as the work of UCB if there is no link. Also, someone else holds the BSD trademark, but I forget who.

There are trademarks on "BSD" in the contexts of computer software and banking services, and also a number of trademarks which include "BSD" (eg, BSD Ben Severson Designs, which seems to cover clothing and water sports equipment). No trademarks covering licensing, contracts, or any sort of legal services.

OT: What triggered this burst of people modifying the BSD licence to be incompatible with all other free software licences? This is the second on -legal this month, I think.

ITYM "this burst of people submitting licenses to -legal". This license has been around for 18 months.

Colin Percival

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