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Re: MIT and Expat licenses; licenses ‘similar to’ a BSD license (Re: [DEP-5] [patch] License table: more links and licenses.)

* Charles Plessy [2010-08-15 00:20 +0900]:
> Le Sat, Aug 14, 2010 at 01:26:45PM +0200, Carsten Hey a écrit :
> >
> > Shouldn't it be mentioned in the licenses description that the expat
> > license sometimes wrongly is referred to as MIT license?
> I wonder if the tradition of using the “Expat” name to refer unambiguously to
> one of the variants of the “MIT” license is widespread or Debian-specific.

If I would need to make a guess I would guess: the FSF was first in
doing so.

> I think that the DEP should not fall in the trap of trying to make some
> extensive license classification. We actually removed most of what made the
> short name parseable during the off-line preparative work, and I will prehaps
> go further and propose the removal of the description of the version semantics,
> that is for instance: GPL-2 and GPL-3 would be two separate short names, not
> two version of the GPL short name. Ontologies and license metadata are probably
> better in the scope of another document.

GPL, GPL-1, GPL-1+, GPL-2, GPL-2+, GPL-3, GPL-3+ ... that would be a lot
of short names, even if GPL-1 and GPL-1+ could be merged and GPL could
be removed.  Besides GPL there are other licenses with different
versions like LGPL and there is code that is licensed  CDDL-1 although
there is only one CDDL version currently.

> If it provides ‘MIT’ as a keyword, and the full text of the MIT license in
> annex, then it will be clear what ‘MIT’ means in the context of the DEP.
> Interstinly, SPDX has not yet made up their minds about the MIT license:

Your approach is interesting, but on the other hand I don't think we
should encourage calling the Expat license MIT license by using MIT as
keyword.  If we just change the description everything should be clear
without the need to use a search engine to find out what the "Expat
License" is.

FSF says:
| Expat License
| This is a simple, permissive non-copyleft free software license,
| compatible with the GNU GPL. It is sometimes ambiguously referred to
| as the MIT License.

Our description is just (or rather was 240 days ago):
| Expat - The Expat License.

> Now, for the BSD:
> ...
> If consensus converges on using a ‘similar to’ keyword, I will submit a patch.

I see the problem you want so solve and I'm unsure if a such a keyword
addition would finally make DEP-5 easier to use or more complicated.
Anyone else?

The FSF has also good (and non-free) descriptions of the various BSD

| FreeBSD license
| This is the original BSD license with the advertising clause and
| another clause removed. (It is also sometimes called the “2-clause BSD
| license”.) ...

| Modified BSD license
| ...
| This is the original BSD license, modified by removal of the
| advertising clause. ...
| This license is sometimes referred to as the 3-clause BSD license.

> Have a nice sunday,

Thanks, you too.  You are always a bit ahead of the times ;)


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