Re: For thoughts: fair license
James William Pye wrote:
> [Sent to license-discuss as another letter, and please CC me.]
> It's longer, but, all in all, I think it makes it a better license:
> The exercise and enjoyment of the rights granted by authorship
> is authorized provided that this instrument is retained with
> substantial portions of the works in a good faith effort to
> notify any entity that uses the works of this instrument.
> DISCLAIMER: THE WORKS ARE WITHOUT WARRANTY.
Take a momemnt and read this as if you were a random programmer
wondering how he may use this pacakge. This paragraph reaches a level of
opacity normally requiring ten pages of licesne text.
Reading this, I first get to puzzle out:
1. What are the "rights granted by authorship"? I know of none; there
are rights I have by virtue of being human, and there are supposedly-
limited monopolies granted to people, not always the author, by
Congress. Maybe this makes more sense in other legal traditions; I
don't know. But it'd certainly be clearer in all of them to just say
what you mean.
Oh, and this is a big lawyer-bomb. It's fairly easy for some one (or
his heirs, etc.) to decide to un-free the work by arguing a limited
meaning of "the rights granted by authorship". For example, they
could argue the only right granted by authorship is to have the work
properly attributed, and thus that no permission to do much anything
has really been granted.
2. "that this instrument is retained". That phrase just confuses the
issue; normal people don't refer to documents as instruments. Use
3. Your disclaimer may not be sufficent. IANAL. However, since every
disclaimer I have seen produced by a lawyer is much more thorough,
I'd guess there is a good reason for that.
A license is not the proper place for peotry. Please, just use the MIT
X11 License. It's clear, it's simple, it's free, and it really sounds
like what you want. If you want really want something slightly
different, let's talk about how to change a few words in the MIT (or new
BSD) licenses to do that.
> The purpose of the license is to create a concise gift license. It
> contrasts from BSD and MIT and most other gift licenses by being
> "open-ended", rather than closed. That difference being that BSD and MIT
> specifically state the exercisable rights, whereas this license
> authorizes all the rights granted by authorship(all inclusive).
Read them more closesly; they are quite "open-ended":
Permission is hereby granted ... to deal in the Software without
restriction, including without limitation the rights [list of rights],
and to permit persons to whom the Software is furnished to do so,
subject to the following conditions.... (MIT License)
Notice 'without restriction' and 'including without limitation'. The
list is there to make the license crystal clear; that is a good thing.
It in no way limits the scope of the license grant.