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Re: ITP:Bug#460591 - Falcon P.L. license

On Wed, 19 Mar 2008 19:59:33 +0100 Giancarlo Niccolai wrote:

> Hello,


> As suggested by Mr. Paul Wise, I am writing here to have the Falcon
> Programming Language License by Debian.

I assume you mean that you would like to have your license "analyzed"
or "revised" by debian-legal.

> The license is tightly based on Apache 2, with extra clarifications
> and permissions.

If I read the license correctly, your description does not seem to be
accurate.  Your license is more *restrictive* than the Apache License
The reason is that you impose conditions on "Embedding Works" and
"Scripts", while the Apache License v2.0 does not.

> I am going through this because, after searching for a license
> providing those guarantees to language users, I have found none.

Frankly speaking, I cannot understand what you are trying to achieve.
You are trying to create a license which is more restrictive than the
Apache License v2.0, and you are calling those extra restrictions
"guarantees to language users"...  This is quite confusing, IMHO.
I'm puzzled.

Moreover, there are many reasons why you should *not* try to write a new

  a) license proliferation is bad, since it contributes to balkanize
the free software community and makes legal and freeness analyses even
more unclear to non-expert users and developers
  b) writing a good license requires legal expertise (you seem to be
willing to hire a lawyer, but that will cost you money...) and is often
a long and difficult task[1]
  c) license proliferation is *really* bad
  d) did I mention that license proliferation is bad?

[1] if you followed the GPLv3 revision process, you saw how many people
were involved, how long it took and yet, starting from a terrible first
draft, they only managed to produce a final text which is unsatisfactory
and suboptimal in several respects, IMO...

> Here follows the text of the license.
>           * "Embedding Works" shall mean any work, whether in Source
>             or Object form, that links (or binds by name) to the
>             interface of the Work and Derivative Works.
>           * "Scripts" shall mean any work, weather in Source or Object
>             form, that is expressed through the grammar rules which
>             are known by the Work.

I don't think that copyright laws give you the right to control
distribution of "Scripts", that is to say, works written in your
programming language.
For instance, I don't think I need permission from anyone in order to
write (original) C++ code and distribute it as I like.

If my understanding is indeed correct, then all the clauses where you
grant a conditioned permission to produce and distribute "Scripts" are
superfluous, as nobody will have to comply with your license, in order
to just write and distribute "Scripts"...

What I expressed are my own opinions.

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..................................................... Francesco Poli .
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