[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: Fwd: figlet license change from Artistic to Clarified Artistic or Artistic 2.0?

On 2004-10-14 18:39:31 +0100 Carlos Laviola <carlos.laviola@gmail.com> wrote:

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: John Cowan <jcowan@reutershealth.com>
Since none of us can possibly suffer a commercial loss, and since FIGlet is not registered with the Copyright Office, there is no one with standing
to sue for statutory damages (actual damages being obviously $0).

Is this assuming all contributors live in a particular jurisdiction? Do they?

[...]  How sure are you that a declaration that something is in the
public domain actually makes it so? Lawyers don't agree on this point.

I looked at the web site of Union for the Public Domain http://www.public-domain.org/ and finding useful nothing there, I emailed someone there. No reply yet.

I must admit that I lack the legal expertise to claim that the AFL 2.1
conforms to the Debian Free Software Guidelines, since it talks about
needlessly complicated things like patents and jurisdictions.
Both the Open Source Initiative and the Free Software Foundation have
analyzed the AFL and declared it conformant to their definitions of "open
source" and "free".

The FSF list evaluates licences in abstract, not applied to particular software. Also, I suspect they assume that no free software patents are valid, so ignore those aspects, but I don't have a sure answer either way about that.

The current process of the failed Open Source Initiative seems to say that they do not analyse licences themselves, but use the licence author's or owner's lawyers. The author of the AFL is the OSI board's legal adviser.

[...] The AFL,
on the other hand, is a contract between licensor and licensee whereby
the licensor makes promises (mostly to refrain from certain things)
that the licensee can readily enforce in court.

I think this is the reason it is a practical problem. Entering into a contract readily enforceable in court usually needs some evidence of proper offer and acceptance, which most GNU/Linux distributions can't record. I could be wrong because I am not a lawyer but some of my friends are.

If it's a contract, why isn't it called "Academic Free Contract" just to make that clear? ;-)

I suspect Larry Rosen's work was part of the motive for Branden proposing the contract/ autocrat test for licences.

MJR/slef    My Opinion Only and not of any group I know
 Creative copyleft computing - http://www.ttllp.co.uk/
Speaking at ESF on Sat 16 Oct - http://www.affs.org.uk/

Reply to: