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   Re: Licensing policies (was Re: ANN: Docuverse DOM SDK PR2

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  • From: John Cowan <cowan@locke.ccil.org>
  • To: xml-dev@ic.ac.uk
  • Date: Tue, 08 Sep 1998 11:42:41 -0400

Peter Murray-Rust wrote:

> IOW my motivation is something like:
>         ' I want a simple license that allows anyone to use my source code but:
>                 to respect authors' moral rights
>                 not to include legal liability
>                 not to imply author support or responsibility for distributed versions
> (i.e. if someone else distributes my code, *I* don't suffer if it something
> goes wrong).
> I'd probably be quite happy to use and amend James' Clark's license but
> there might be small things I want to add. To be able to pick a license off
> the shelf would be very useful and also leads to a greater degree of
> community support and feeling.

James Clark's license is what is called a "BSD" license, because
the BSD version of Unix is distributed under it.  It's the least
restrictive license: basically, anyone can do anything they want to
with the code, except hike off the author's name or use his name
for advertising purposes.  In addition, the author must be
acknowledged in uses made of the code.  (That's just simple courtesy.)

The Artistic License allows people to hack on the code for their
own use, and distribute modified versions if they give them new
names.  (This guarantees, e.g., that "perl" is always Larry Wall's
version, but anyone may distribute something called "emereld"
that contains modified code.)

The heavyweight license is the GPL, which is designed to keep code
under it "forever free" by preventing anyone from distributing
modified versions except under the GPL.  (It does not affect the
*output* of GPLed programs, nor is it forbidden for a program
to be distributed both under the GPL and otherwise.)

John Cowan	http://www.ccil.org/~cowan		cowan@ccil.org
	You tollerday donsk?  N.  You tolkatiff scowegian?  Nn.
	You spigotty anglease?  Nnn.  You phonio saxo?  Nnnn.
		Clear all so!  'Tis a Jute.... (Finnegans Wake 16.5)

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