[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: Thoughts on GPL's Appropriate Legal Notices? or the CPAL?

On Wed, Dec 14, 2011 at 08:57:56PM +0000, MJ Ray wrote:
> I don't know of anywhere that "Powered by SugarCRM" is a legal notice.
> Does anyone?  What legal effect does it have?

I worked on the drafting of GPLv3 at my previous job (no tomatoes,
please :). You may note that section 7 of (A)GPLv3 says that it is not
a GPL-incompatible "further restriction" for one (with appropriate
copyright authorization) to "Require preservation of specified
reasonable legal notices or author attributions in that material or in
the Appropriate Legal Notices displayed by works containing it".

The FSF was convinced by certain arguments at the time that a
conventional "Powered by" logo, such as were in vogue at the time for
certain companies, was equivalent to an author attribution (if the
logo in some sense did, in fact, refer to the 'author'). 

SugarCRM relicensed to GPLv3 shortly after the FSF's final publication
of GPLv3. The additional licensing terms concerning the logo and so
forth that were in place at the time met with the FSF's approval. I
haven't followed how those notices have changed, if at all, over time,
beyond being aware that SugarCRM at some point relicensed from GPLv3
to AGPLv3.  I have generally regarded what SugarCRM did in mid-2007 as
the outer bound of what is acceptable "badgeware" under (A)GPLv3. I
believe very strongly that to the extent such provisions authorize
"badgeware" terms they must be construed very narrowly.

As an example of how I've applied this in practice, working with the
Fedora Project, we succeeded in getting Zarafa to revise its AGPLv3
additional terms to scale them back to approximately what SugarCRM had
been doing.

- Richard

Reply to: