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From "Robin Green" <gree...@hotmail.com>
Subject Re: Licenses (was Re: Image Serializers)
Date Wed, 12 Apr 2000 10:51:48 GMT
Stefano Mazzocchi wrote:

>Robin Green wrote:
[snip]
> > The FSF _owns_ a lot of code merely because it recommends to individual
> > people that they donate code to it for legal reasons, just like the ASF
> > does.
>
>I find this offensive for the ASF. Unlike GNU, we are not trying to
>legally impose our view of the world on top of others: we try to create
>a common technology background for software that enforces open
>standards, using the simplest possible licence that both protects the
>developers and doesn't limit the code's scope.

I'm sorry you found that offensive. All I was doing was pointing out that 
this sort of statement:

"Classpath is GNU software and this project is being officially sponsored by 
the Free Software Foundation. Because of this, the FSF will hold copyright 
to all code developed as part of Classpath. This will allow them to pursue 
copyright violators in court, something an individual developer may neither 
have the time nor resources to do."

is similar to the philosophy of the ASF to have all contributions tagged as 
"(C) Apache Software Foundation", for much the same reasons.

We needn't get into a GPL license debate here. Suffice it to say I don't 
like the GPL personally, and I avoid it like the plague (except for my 
operating system and utilities, until such time as a good open source, 
non-GPLed, Java replacement is available) - but even I think that accusing 
the FSF of "legally imposing their view of the world" is going too far. They 
merely advocate stridently, and stipulate constraints on software which they 
own the copyright to. If some people don't like those constraints, they can 
still use the software and even modify it internally within their 
organization - they just can't distribute it.

Let's not forget, the GPL is much _less_ restrictive than say a typical 
Microsoft license.

(It's a bit like being accused of "imposing" one's views on others, when 
someone asks why I am a vegan and I merely answer their question.)

> > If Megacorp Inc has a problem with making certain code available to 
>others,
> > they will equally avoid contributing under either the LGPL or the Apache
> > license. But that doesn't mean they won't _use_ the products under those
> > licenses - cf Apache, Linux.
>
>You are totally right, but I would not want to stopping distributing
>Cocoon because I don't want to make it GPLed, would you? :)

No :)

>
> > In fact, even GPLed code can have proprietary mods if they are not
> > _distributed_ - or if Linus Torvalds makes a legally-dubious exception! 
>;)
>
>The whole legal business of open source licenses is totally fake.

Hmmm... and you state this under what authority? How do you know this?

(IANAL) ;)

There is a _big_ difference between typical open source licenses, which are 
a set of permissions by the copyright owner, and typical shrinkwrap licenses 
which have a "by clicking here / opening this package you accept all these 
terms" clause. Certainly I would agree that a license that you cannot read 
until you have accepted it by opening the package, as happens with some 
software bought in shops, is legally dubious. :-)

--
Robin

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