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Re: licensing of XMPP specifications

Peter Saint-Andre <stpeter@stpeter.im> writes:

> After some discussion and wordsmithing, we have consensus on the
> following wording (for which the "permissions" section is
> essentially a modified MIT license):

This raises the question, then, why the exact MIT/X11 license terms
were not used?

> ******
> Legal Notices
> Copyright
> This XMPP Extension Protocol is copyright (c) 1999 - 2008 by the XMPP
> Standards Foundation (XSF).
> Permissions
> Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining
> a copy of this specification (the "Specification"), to make use of the
> Specification without restriction, including without limitation the
> rights to implement the Specification in a software program, deploy
> the Specification in a network service, and copy, modify, merge,
> publish, translate, distribute, sublicense, or sell copies of the
> Specification, and to permit persons to whom the Specification is
> furnished to do so, subject to the condition that the foregoing
> copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all
> copies or substantial portions of the Specification. Unless separate
> permission is granted, modified works that are redistributed shall not
> contain misleading information regarding the authors, title, number,
> or publisher of the Specification, and shall not claim endorsement of
> the modified works by the authors, any organization or project to
> which the authors belong, or the XMPP Standards Foundation.

I can't see a substantial difference in effect, yet the terms are
different to the MIT/X11 license and thus contribute to license
proliferation, which is bad.

Better would be simply to copy the MIT/X11 permission text directly,
so that countless people could save effort in determining that the
license terms are identical. As it stands, they are not identical and
must be scanned manually and understood separately.

> IPR Conformance
> This XMPP Extension Protocol has been contributed in full conformance
> with the XSF's Intellectual Property Rights Policy (a copy of which
> may be found at <http://www.xmpp.org/extensions/ipr-policy.shtml> or
> obtained by writing to XSF, P.O. Box 1641, Denver, CO 80201 USA).

Uses the overly vague term "intellectual property rights"
and sadly contributes to its unwarranted appearance of legitimacy

Fortunately seems to have no effect on the freeness of works to which
the license is applied. I'd be happier if this section was not here at

> Warranty
> This Specification is provided "as is", without warranty of any kind,
> express or implied, [...]

Thank you, authors if this document, for writing a "Warranty" section
that isn't needlessly in SHOUTY CAPITALS.

 \       "I met my girlfriend in Macy's; she was buying clothes, and I |
  `\        was putting Slinkies on the escalators."  -- Steven Wright |
_o__)                                                                  |
Ben Finney

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