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

YaBB Public License

Hi -legal!

There is some forum software called YaBB which is released under the
"YaBB Public License". It is evidently non-free, but I want to convince
them to change it. I've made a list of problems that I've found, but
before I ask upstream to change the license, can someone please make
sure that I haven't missed any?

You can find an unmodified copy of the license in the following link,
but you'll need to save it as a html file:


Riley Baird


License - YaBB Public License (YPL)

Below is the license YaBB has adopted for the software. It explains your
extended rights and restrictions with the YaBB forum software. We
basically ask that you leave the copyright intact and visible on the
bottom of your forum at all times on all pages. If you wish to break the
following license or remove the copyright, you may make an inquiry by
visiting the following URL: http://www.yabbforum.com/licenses.php.

    Version 1.0, Adopted On April 17, 2001
    Version 2.0, Adopted On April 13, 2004
    Version 2.1, Adopted On September 7, 2005
    Version 2.2, Adopted On November 08, 2007
    Version 2.2.1, Adopted On March 05, 2008
    Version 2.2.2, Adopted On June 05, 2008
    Version 2.2.3, Adopted On July 12, 2008
    Version 2.3, Adopted On October 12, 2008
    Version 2.3.1, Adopted On January 04, 2009
    Version 2.4, Adopted On April 12, 2009
    Version 2.5 Anniversary Edition, Adopted On July 04, 2010
    Version 2.5.2, Adopted On October 21, 2012
    Version 2.5.4, Adopted On September 1, 2013
    Version 2.6.0, Adopted On February 20, 2014
    Version 2.6.1, Adopted On September 1, 2014


You: This is you, if you are considering distributing, modifying or
using this Package.

Program: This refers to the YaBB source files that comprise the Perl
program and derivatives of that program.

Package: This refers to the collection of files distributed by YaBB and
derivatives of that collection of files created through textual

Standard Version: This refers to such a Package if it has not been
modified or has been modified in accordance with the wishes of YaBB as
specified below.

Distribution Fee: This is a fee you charge for providing a copy of this
Package to another party.

Freely Available: This means that no fee is charged for the right to use
the Package, though there may be fees involved in handling it. It also
means that recipients of the Package may redistribute it under the same
conditions they received it.

> "Standard Version", "Distribution Fee" and "Freely Available" do not
> appear in the body of the license.

License: This is the document you are currently reading (YaBB's Public

Illegal Actions: Any action that is illegal in the country you reside
in, the country websites using YaBB are hosted in, and the country a
visitor to said websites reside in.

> This effectively includes the entire world. So, if someone from
> North Korea visits my website, I have to make sure my website
> follows North Korean law.


The licenses for most software are designed to take away your freedom to
share and change it. By contrast, this License is intended to guarantee
your freedom to share and change free software -- to make sure the
software is free for all its users.

When we speak of free software, we are referring to freedom, not price.
Our YaBB Public License is designed to make sure that you have the
freedom to distribute copies of free software (and charge for a service
if you wish), that you receive source code or can get it if you want it,
that you can change the software or use pieces of it in new free
programs; and that you know you can do these things.

To protect your rights, we need to make restrictions that forbid anyone
to deny you these rights or to ask you to surrender the rights. These
restrictions translate to certain responsibilities for you if you
distribute copies of the software, or if you modify it. For example, if
you distribute copies of such a program, whether gratis or for a fee,
you must give the recipients all the rights that you have. You must make
sure that they too receive or can get the source code, and you must show
them these terms so they know their rights.

We protect your rights with two steps: (1) copyright the software, and
(2) offer you this license which gives you legal permission to copy,
distribute and/or modify the software.

Also, for each author's protection and ours, we want to make certain
that everyone understands that there is no warranty for this free
software. If the software is modified by someone else and passed on, we
want its recipients to know that what they have is not the original, so
that any problems introduced by others will not reflect on the original
authors' reputations.

Finally, any free program is threatened constantly by software patents.
We wish to avoid the danger that redistributors of a free program will
individually obtain patent licenses, in effect making the program
proprietary. To prevent this, we have made it clear that any patent must
be licensed for everyone's free use or not licensed at all.
Terms and Conditions for Use

You may download and use YaBB only if you agree to the following items:

> Is this like a EULA? I thought that licenses were only allowed to
> grant rights, not take them away.

    You will keep this license intact with your YaBB Package.

> Does this apply even if I choose not to distribute it?

    You agree to this entire license.

> This would seem to contradict section 4, which implies that
> you do not need to accept the license to use the product.

    You leave the YaBB copyright visible on your installed forum as they
were placed in the original Package. This rule does not apply if you
have purchased a separate license to remove the copyright or are
redistributing the Package and have followed other rules in this license
to remove it.

> I can't find the "other rules in this license" to remove the
> copyright notice. Also, does this count as an invariant section?
> I don't think that it does, but I'm not sure.

    You do not use YaBB for any Illegal Actions nor allow those using
your copy of YaBB to perform illegal actions on or with YaBB. This
includes but is not limited to: using a YaBB forum to post slander
against any other individual or group, using a YaBB forum to post "hacks
and cracks" for software, or using a YaBB forum to plot a crime or
terrorist act. YaBB is not intended or licensed for illegal uses. If you
find suspect actions, please report them to the proper authorities or
the web host of the offending website.

> I assume that the reason that the YaBB developers are concerned about
> this is to protect themselves legally. If so, surely a statement along
> the lines of "This software is not intended to be used for Illegal
> Actions" would suffice.

Terms and Conditions for Copying, Distribution, and Modification

0. This License applies to any program or other work which contains a
notice placed by the copyright holder saying it may be distributed under
the terms of this YaBB Public License.

Activities other than using, copying, distributing and modifying are not
covered by this License; they are outside its scope. The act of running
the Program is not restricted, and the output from the Program is
covered only if its contents constitute a work based on the Package
(independent of having been made by running the Program). Whether that
is true depends on what the Program does.

1. You may copy and distribute verbatim copies of the Package's source
code as you receive it, in any medium, provided that you conspicuously
and appropriately publish on each copy an appropriate copyright notice
and disclaimer of warranty; keep intact all the notices that refer to
this YaBB Public License and to the absence of any warranty; and give
any other recipients of the Package a copy of this License along with
the Package.

You may charge a fee for the physical act of transferring a copy, and
you may at your option offer warranty protection in exchange for a fee.
If transferring a copy for a fee, some sort of modification to the
original Program must have been made or a service must have been added
to the Program other than the act of the transfer itself.

> Requiring a modification to the work or a service to be added to
> the program for commercial distribution makes the work non-free.
> In any case, there's a loophole in this. I could just define a
> "hello world" function in one of the source files, and then just
> never call that function.

2. You may modify your copy or copies of the Package or any portion of
it, thus forming a work based on the Package, and copy and distribute
such modifications or work under the terms of Section 1 above, provided
that you also meet all of these conditions:

    a) You must cause the modified files to carry prominent notices
stating that you changed the files and the date of any change.
    b) You must cause any work that you distribute or publish, that in
whole or in part contains or is derived from the Package or any part
thereof, to be licensed as a whole at no charge to all third parties
under the terms of this License.
    c) If the modified Program normally reads commands interactively
when run, you must cause it, when started running for such interactive
use in the most ordinary way, to print or display an announcement
including an appropriate copyright notice.

> I am assuming that this section (2c) is void if a license to
> remove the copyright notices is purchased.

These requirements apply to the modified work as a whole. If
identifiable sections of that work are not derived from the Package and
can be reasonably considered independent and separate works in
themselves, then this License and its terms do not apply to those
sections when you distribute them as separate works. But when you
distribute the same sections as part of a whole which is a work based on
the Package, the distribution of the whole must be on the terms of this
License, whose permissions for other licensees extend to the entire
whole, and thus to each and every part regardless of who wrote it.

Thus, it is not the intent of this section to claim rights or contest
your rights to work written entirely by you; rather, the intent is to
exercise the right to control the distribution of derivative or
collective works based on the Package.

In addition, mere aggregation of another work not based on the Package
with the Program (or with a work based on the Program) on a volume of a
storage or distribution medium does not bring the other work under the
scope of this License.

3. You may not copy, modify, sublicense, or distribute the Package
except as expressly provided under this License. Any attempt otherwise
to copy, modify, sublicense or distribute the Package is void, and will
automatically terminate your rights under this License. However, parties
who have received copies, or rights, from you under this License will
not have their licenses terminated so long as such parties remain in
full compliance.

4. You are not required to accept this License, since you have not
signed it. However, nothing else grants you permission to modify or
distribute the Package or its derivative works. These actions are
prohibited by law if you do not accept this License. Therefore, by
modifying or distributing the Package (or any work based on the
Package), you indicate your acceptance of this License to do so, and all
its terms and conditions for copying, distributing or modifying the
Package or works based on it.

5. Each time you redistribute the Package (or any work based on the
Package), the recipient automatically receives a license from the
original licensor to copy, distribute or modify the Package subject to
these terms and conditions. You may not impose any further restrictions
on the recipients' exercise of the rights granted herein. You are not
responsible for enforcing compliance by third parties to this License.

6. If, as a consequence of a court judgment or allegation of patent
infringement or for any other reason (not limited to patent issues),
conditions are imposed on you (whether by court order, agreement or
otherwise) that contradict the conditions of this License, they do not
excuse you from the conditions of this License. If you cannot distribute
so as to satisfy simultaneously your obligations under this License and
any other pertinent obligations, then as a consequence you may not
distribute the Package at all. For example, if a patent license would
not permit royalty-free redistribution of the Package by all those who
receive copies directly or indirectly through you, then the only way you
could satisfy both it and this License would be to refrain entirely from
distribution of the Package.

If any portion of this section is held invalid or unenforceable under
any particular circumstance, the balance of the section is intended to
apply, and the section as a whole is intended to apply in other

It is not the purpose of this section to induce you to infringe any
patents or other property right claims or to contest validity of any
such claims; this section has the sole purpose of protecting the
integrity of the free software distribution system, which is implemented
by public license practices. Many people have made generous
contributions to the wide range of software distributed through that
system in reliance on consistent application of that system; it is up to
the author/donor to decide if he or she is willing to distribute
software through any other system and a licensee cannot impose that choice.

This section is intended to make thoroughly clear what is believed to be
a consequence of the rest of this License.

7. If the distribution and/or use of the Package are restricted in
certain countries either by patents or by copyrighted interfaces, the
original copyright holder who places the Package under this License may
add an explicit geographical distribution limitation excluding those
countries, so that distribution is permitted only in or among countries
not thus excluded. In such case, this License incorporates the
limitation as if written in the body of this License.

8. YaBB may publish revised and/or new versions of the YaBB Public
License from time to time. Such new versions will be similar in spirit
to the present version, but may differ in detail to address new problems
or concerns.

Each version is given a distinguishing version number. If the Package
specifies a version number of this License which applies to it and "any
later version," you have the option of following the terms and
conditions either of that version or of any later version published by
YaBB. If the Package does not specify a version number of this License,
you may choose any version ever published by YaBB.

9. If you wish to incorporate parts of the Package into other free
programs whose distribution conditions are different, write to the
author to ask for permission. For software which is copyrighted by YaBB,
write to YaBB; we sometimes make exceptions for this. Our decision will
be guided by the two goals of preserving the free status of all
derivatives of our free software and of promoting the sharing and reuse
of software generally.

10. Because the Package is licensed free of charge, there is no warranty
for the Package, to the extent permitted by applicable law. Except when
otherwise stated in writing, the copyright holders and/or other parties
provide the Package "as is" without warranty of any kind, either
expressed or implied, including, but not limited to, the implied
warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose. The
entire risk as to the quality and performance of the Package is with
you. Should the Package prove defective, you assume the cost of all
necessary servicing, repair or correction.

11. In no event, unless required by applicable law or agreed to in
writing, will any copyright holder, or any other party who may modify
and/or redistribute the Package as permitted above, be liable to you for
damages, including any general, special, incidental or consequential
damages arising out of the use or inability to use the Package
(including but not limited to loss of data or data being rendered
inaccurate or losses sustained by you or third parties or a failure of
components of this Package to operate with other programs), even if such
holder or other party has been advised of the possibility of such damages.
How to Apply These Terms to Your New Programs

If you develop a new program, and you want it to be of the greatest
possible use to the public, the best way to achieve this is to make it
free software which everyone can redistribute and change under these terms.

To do so, attach the following notices to the program. It is safest to
attach them to the start of each source file to most effectively convey
the exclusion of warranty; and each file should have at least the
"copyright" line and a pointer to where the full notice is found.

Provide one line to give the program's name and an idea of what it does.

Copyright (C) yyyy name of author

This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it
under the terms of the YaBB Public License (YPL) as published by the
Free Software Foundation, modified by YaBB; either this version 2.5.4 of
the License, or (at your option) any later version.

> Afaik, the YaBB Public License was not published by the Free Software
> Foundation (although the GPL was, and the FSF did write that).

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but
WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
License for more details.
You should have received a copy of the YaBB Public License along with
this program; if not, write to YaBB.

Also add information on how to contact you by electronic and paper mail.

This YaBB Public License does not permit incorporating your program into
proprietary programs. If your program is a subroutine library, you may
consider it more useful to permit linking proprietary applications with
the library. If this is what you want to do, use the GNU Library General
Public License instead of this License.
Summary of Your Rights with this Software

> Is a summary legally binding?

1. You MAY use this Package free of charge, and the Package, containing
all source code, will be available to you at any time.

> Within the license, I couldn't find a requirement to give the source
> code when you distribute derivative works.

2. You may NOT sell this Package if nothing has been modified and it is
being distributed by You in the same manner the original Package was
distributed to You.

> The problems with requiring modifications for have been described
> earlier. Also, I don't remember seeing anything about "the same
> manner the original Package was distributed to You".

3. You MAY sell this Package if you have done the following:

    You have modified items or code in this Package and have properly
commented what and when the modifications took place.
    If the Package has not been modified (or if it has), You are
including a service such as installation with this Package.
    You have included a copy of this original YaBB Public License with
your product and have applied the proper copyright notices.
    You have made available the source code and all other materials that
were available when You received this Package to the public and have
distributed this material to the original authors of this product.

> I am certain that there was nothing in the license about making
> public source code and distributing it to the original authors.
> Such a requirement would seem to fail the Dissident Test
> (https://wiki.debian.org/DissidentTest) and the Desert Island
> Test (https://wiki.debian.org/DesertIslandTest).

4. You may NOT use the YaBB software for any illegal actions. Such use
will void this license and deem your copy of YaBB illegal. YaBB cannot
be held liable for such uses.

> I've already mentioned the problems with the Illegal Actions
> restriction in other parts of the license.

Reply to: