Re: Opinion on the PDL ?
Scripsit Daniel Carrera <email@example.com>
> * Section 3.3 says:
> All Documentation to which You contribute must identify the changes
> You made to create that Documentation and the date of any change. You
> must include a prominent statement that the Modification is derived,
> directly or indirectly, from Original Documentation provided by the
> Initial Writer and include the name of the Initial Writer in the
> Documentation or via an electronic link that describes the origin or
> ownership of the Documentation.
This does not in itself seem to be problematic. The point that is
usually brought up against clauses that look similar to this is that
they require the contributor to disclose his own identity (and,
thereby discrimiate against people whom harm would befall if their
involvement with the software became known to their enemies or
superiors). However, that does not happen here; the license merely
requires that it is documented *what* was changed and *when*, but not
> * Section 3.5 says:
> You must duplicate the notice in the Appendix in each file of the
> Documentation... You must also duplicate this License in any
> Documentation file
That's not a fair quote, I think. The actual license text explicitly
make exceptions for cases where the format or structure of the
modified work makes it impractical to include the notice in individual
> * Section 3.5 also has an indemnification clause. I don't fully
> understand it.
The actual text is
| You hereby agree to indemnify the Initial Writer and every
| Contributor for any liability incurred by the Initial Writer or such
| Contributor as a result of warranty, support, indemnity or liability
| terms You offer.
I don't think this can go beyond ordinary negligence-based liability.
And even if one is worried about that, there is an easy way out: just
distribute the work as-is, and offer support (etc) separately from the
distribution of the bits themselves.
> 1.1. "Commercial Use" means distribution or otherwise making the
> Documentation available to a third party.
Hm, such gratuituous redefinition of the English language does not
necessarily make the license non-free, but it certainly makes my head
spin. (However the term "Commercial Use" only occurs once in the
license, and its non-standard meaning happens to not be a problem
> 3.2. Availability of Documentation.
> Any Modification which You create or to which You contribute must be made
> available publicly in Editable Form under the terms of this License via a
> fixed medium or an accepted Electronic Distribution Mechanism.
Ugh. That's forced distribution. Non-free.
> UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES AND UNDER NO LEGAL THEORY, WHETHER IN TORT
> (INCLUDING NEGLIGENCE), CONTRACT, OR OTHERWISE, SHALL THE INITIAL WRITER,
> ANY OTHER CONTRIBUTOR, OR ANY DISTRIBUTOR OF DOCUMENTATION, OR ANY
> SUPPLIER OF ANY OF SUCH PARTIES, BE LIABLE TO ANY PERSON FOR ANY DIRECT,
> INDIRECT, SPECIAL, INCIDENTAL, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES OF ANY CHARACTER
> INCLUDING, WITHOUT LIMITATION, DAMAGES FOR LOSS OF GOODWILL, WORK
> STOPPAGE, COMPUTER FAILURE OR MALFUNCTION, OR ANY AND ALL OTHER DAMAGES OR
> LOSSES ARISING OUT OF OR RELATING TO THE USE OF THE DOCUMENTATION, EVEN IF
> SUCH PARTY SHALL HAVE BEEN INFORMED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES.
This, by the way, seems to be inconsistent with the earlier language
saying that a contributor or distributor may elect to offer warranties
or liability in exchange for a fee.
Henning Makholm "Larry wants to replicate all the time ... ah, no,
all I meant was that he likes to have a bang everywhere."