Re: New 'Public Domain' Licence
On Fri, Jun 03, 2005 at 04:39:12PM -0700, Don Armstrong wrote:
> On Fri, 03 Jun 2005, Glenn Maynard wrote:
> > telling me that I can freely distribute the part that is Lua has no
> > value, since I can't actually do so (it's tucked away inside a
> > binary; if I want Lua, I'll go download the source).
> The" value" it has is informing you that some part of that codebase is
> "Lua" and that you can go download the source to "Lua" to get at that
> part of the codebase... or, you can reverse engineer that portion of
> the code to get back at "Lua"... or exercise any other right (useful
> or not) that the MIT license gives you. [Most of this issue here is
> just a straight forward problem with non-copyleft licenses...]
You mean that the "problem" is that permissive licenses don't serve the
goals of a copyleft? They're not supposed to. The goal (or at least
one very common goal) of permissive licenses is to encourage free use
of code, and it's understandable that people with this philosophy don't
want to force people to include a useless license block, either.
Actually, nothing about the MIT license says anything about telling
people that you use a library, or that you can get it anywhere. A
copy of the Lua license is attached, just as an example: the word "Lua"
appears nowhere in the license. Including the license doesn't even give
any hint about Lua, unless you already know it exists!
You can't reverse-engineer that portion of the code to get back at "Lua",
because there's no way to tell which parts are Lua, which parts have had
copyrightable modifications applied which are not under Lua's license,
and which parts are entirely unrelated to Lua. I don't see any benefit
in twisting people's arms to put big blobs of text informing people that
it's theoretically legal to do something, when it's neither possible nor
useful in practice. Telling people this is just wasting their time.
(The warranty disclaimer is another issue, though.)
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