Re: BSD Protection License
At 13:01 23/10/2003 +0100, MJ Ray wrote:
On 2003-10-23 11:10:13 +0100 Colin Percival
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.
As already mentioned, your licence says:
2. You may do N
3. You may do X if Y
4. You may do X if Z
which I hope you agree could mean "you may do N; or you may do X if Y and Z."
I'm afraid I don't agree. It means exactly what the previous example
means: "you may take any, all, or none, of the actions (N), (X, provided
that you also do Y), and (X, provided that you also do Z)".
To take this to extremes, consider the following hypothetical license:
1. You may make copies of this email message and distribute them without
modification if your last name starts with the leter "A".
2. You may make copies of this email message and distribute them without
modification if your last name does not start with the letter "A".
I *hope* that nobody is going to read that as requiring that any
redistributor have a name which both starts, and does not start, with the
It seems reasonable to ask for clarification.
Asking for clarification is one thing; refusing to accept it is quite
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.
What would you lose by clarifying it anyway? I do not understand why you
wish to set this hurdle. I think we are almost certainly not going to be
the only people to be confused by this. You would save much time in future
explanation by changing it now.
I've already distributed a bunch of software under this license, with
the current wording. Had I realized that this would be an issue, I'd have
changed the wording at the beginning; but I'd prefer to avoid causing
confusion by having two, logically identical but syntactically different,
versions of the license floating about.
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.
...and to advocate it?
No, to clarify it, and be boggled by the confusion it seems to cause.
[...] No trademarks covering licensing, contracts, or any sort of legal
Trademarking was not the only concern. Do you have a comment about the
morality of misrepresentation as a work from BSD? So far, you have only
said that you do not think you will be sued over it, IIRC.
How am I (mis)representing anything as being a work "from BSD"? What is
"BSD", anyway, as a legal entity? (AFAIK, BSD inc. no longer exists.)