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

On Jan 1, 2008 10:39 AM, Francesco Poli wrote:

> (typo: my name is Francesco, not Francisco...)

Argh, sorry. Too much Hamlet!

I've expanded the article this morning, and corrected the typo.

> 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 lawyers...

The argument against this is that some licenses, all those that have a
Y in Column B of my survey, require this explicitly and some don't.
None, however, qualify it in terms of a universal restriction that the
licenses are simply reminding you of.

This is the heuristic argument I used with myself in lieu of being a
lawyer. In fact, I didn't think about it much—it just seemed like
common sense to me.

At the very least, a license that makes this point explicit makes me
feel better that a requirement I care about is going to be noticed by
people using my software.

> Secondly, I think that the license text says "the above copyright
> notice" just because it is designed to be included verbatim in
> each file.

People don't include it verbatim in each file, though. James Clark
doesn't do that in Expat, for example!

"See the file copying.txt for copying permission."
- e.g. expat/xmlparse/xmlparse.c

The requirement text in the Expat license is:

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

The *nature* of required inclusion isn't elucidated upon.

> 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

But then the license only requires that the copyright notice and the
permission notice be preserved, which means the LICENSE.txt file.

> I don't think that this could alter the meaning of the license, which
> mandates the preservation of copyright notices...

No, it says the "above copyright notice and this permission notice"
only. When you're using a LICENSE.txt file, that means the content of
the LICENSE.txt file only. It doesn't say anything about anything


Same here! :-)

Sean B. Palmer, http://inamidst.com/sbp/

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