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Re: Choosing a License: GNU APL? AFL 3.0?

On Mon, 31 Dec 2007 17:52:22 +0000 Sean B. Palmer wrote:

> On Dec 31, 2007 11:36 AM, Francesco Poli wrote:
> > > C = Allows distribution without full license text
> >
> > I am not able to see C as a reasonable requirement
> Fair enough. I've made a note of that in the following article:
> http://inamidst.com/stuff/eiffel/
> - Why the Eiffel Forum License?

I've just read it (typo: my name is Francesco, not Francisco...).
I'm not convinced about the preserving copyright notices issue, more on
this later.

> > Are we sure that B is N for the 3-clause BSD license and for
> > the Expat/MIT license?
> Yes, there is no text in those licenses which requires that all
> copyright notices within the package they apply to are retained and
> preserved.

IIUC, your concern is with the word "above".
The Expat license[1] states, in part:

| The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be
| included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software.

[1] http://www.jclark.com/xml/copying.txt

The 3-clause BSD license[2] states, in part:

| * Redistributions of source code must retain the above copyright
|   notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer.

[2] http://www.gnu.org/licenses/info/BSD_3Clause.html

You think that these clauses only apply to copyright notices that are
placed *above* the license text, while giving permission to strip or
alter isolated copyright notices that are near a line that just refers
to the license text.  Did I get what you mean?

I'm not convinced that this is the case.
Firstoff, does the law allow removing or altering appropriate copyright
notices?  I don't think so, but I'll leave this argument to real
Secondly, I think that the license text says "the above copyright
notice" just because it is designed to be included verbatim in each
file.  However, if you prefer placing the license text in a centralized
file (e.g.: LICENSE.txt) and just put copyright notices (+ a line
pointing to the centralized file) in each source file, that's just a
matter of practical convenience: I don't think that this could alter the
meaning of the license, which mandates the preservation of copyright

To conclude, I still recommend you to adopt the Expat license (even
though the Eiffel Forum License, version 2 is acceptable).


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