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Re: Which license am I looking for?



On Sun, 18 Jan 2009 20:27:16 +0100 Mark Weyer wrote:

> 
> Thanks for your reply.

You're welcome!  :)

> 
> On Sun, Jan 18, 2009 at 05:43:05PM +0100, Francesco Poli wrote:
[...]
> > Hence, I think your desiderata are somewhat inconsistent.
> 
> I think what you refer to, is what GNU calls strong copyleft. What I want
> is more close to weak copyleft.
> I want, that in the event of my software becoming part of some larger
> software, that all recipients have access to my software in its best form,
> that is in source. Hence copyleft with source.
> While I would also prefer that recipients have access to the sources of the
> other parts of the larger software, I think it unwise to require that the
> other parts are put under the same license.

IMHO, the problem with this form of "weak" copyleft is: what if your
code is incorporated as part of the larger work so that the boundaries
are not so well defined?
I mean: your code could, for instance, be included inside one source
file of the larger work, blended with other parts of the larger work.
At that point, having access to the source for your code under its
original license terms (and nothing else) would be of little or no use,
in order to have freedom on the larger work.
Of course, it would provide freedom on your original code, but that
would be guaranteed (almost) equivalently by a simple non-copyleft
license (such as the Expat/MIT license), as long as your original code
remains available from other places under these non-copyleft free terms.

> The reason being, that if some
> other part of the larger software does the same, albeit with a different
> license, the larger software becomes undistributable, which is the worst
> possible outcome.

In other words, you want to maximize compatibility with other copyleft
licenses and still have a copyleft license...
I think these two requirements are _very_ hard to satisfy at the same
time; it could be that they are actually incompatible with each other.

[...]
> I do not want to distinguish between different kinds of software.
> The reason is, that while at this time my software is best described
> as "program", I acknowledge, that through a sufficient number of
> mutations (in the process of deriving works) it might as well become
> a picture, a library, documentation, or whatnot.

I share this desire for a license written without distinguishing
between different kinds of software.

The GNU GPL is not far from being such a license: it talks all the way
about a "Program", but defines this term as "any program or other
work" (GPLv2, Section 0.) or as "any copyrightable work" (GPLv3,
Section 0.).
Hence you may think "Work" whenever you read "Program" in the GPL text.


Same disclaimers as before: IANAL, TINLA, IANADD, TINASOTODP.

-- 
 On some search engines, searching for my nickname AND
 "nano-documents" may lead you to my website...  
..................................................... Francesco Poli .
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