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Re: [kDev] KendraBase update...
Daniel Harris wrote:
The only reason I am interested in licensing at all is that if Kendra
Foundation was to issue software as public domain (which is really
what I'd prefer to do) then that would leave Kendra Foundation and
contributing developers wide open to law suits resulting from
confusion over ownership or implied warranty. We really need to get a
lawyer to confirm that this is the case but I think it is the case
that public domain offers no protection.
If you make something public domain then you relinquish ownership. It's
rare for people to release their code public domain these days,
preferring to put it under one of the more popular licenses such as BSD,
GPL, etc. If you make it public domain then you are at no risk from
anything, on the other hand you can never get it back. All this AFAICR.
The only reason I am interested in licensing code is to protect
Kendra Foundation and contributing developers from law suits
resulting from confusion over ownership or implied warranty. Also,
having a clause in the license about passing off is also a wise thing
to do, I guess.
I don't see the problem. I don't see any lawsuits over confusion over
ownership or implied warranty for any current code under GPL, BSD, etc
(apart from that joke SCO one).
On Jan 19, 2004, at 9:03 am, Phillip Temple wrote:
(whilst having their own rights and interests protected)?
I need to know exactly what 'rights' and what 'interests' you want
protected other than:
- protection from being sued because what you created or helped
create screwed up someone's business - no implied warranty.
- protection from people coming along and saying "hey, you guys stole
my code" - clarification of ownership.
- protection from people passing off.
I'm not offering any warranty so I'm not bothered about that. The only
thing I don't want is someone ripping off my work and selling it without
rewarding me. I think that goes for most programmers. I feel the current
OSS licenses protect my work adequately. Other programmers would like to
offer their code but maintain the right to use it to branch it off and
form their own company. Again the OSS license allows them to do that.
Beyond those 3 issues mentioned above my next aim is to make the
license be as unrestrictive as possible whilst still encouraging:
- developers to contribute to the project.
- people to use the code.
Forget about unrestrictive. Just license it so it's clear. People want
to KNOW what you are going to do with their code.
So, now we get into muddy waters and we're juggling...
if someone is going to sell their work then they want to get paid a
Some developers *wont* mind their code being sold without getting a
cut. Both the BSD and GPL allow for the software to be taken and
packaged up by a third party and sold on at a profit and passing no
monitory reward back to the developer. Sure, the GPL means a that
anyone selling the code doesn't have the advantage of closed source
but the BSD gives you that option. Some developers *will* mind their
code being sold without getting a cut. So, they'll tend towards the
Hence the previous email about aiming different parts of the
infrastructure at different licenses to encourage the maximum number of
people whilst alienating the minimum.
I wouldn't mind if people make money from the code. In fact I think
it would be great. The Kendra mission is to get to the goal.
The people contributing the code would rather it was them making that
money though. The Kendra mission may be to get to the goal, but it's the
members that will make the journey.
More clarification necessary. There are at least 4 circumstances we
can specify license terms.
Contribution by developers:
- Submit new code as a package.
- Modifications to existing code.
Use of code:
- Run the code.
- Take the source code and modify and incorporate into another
project, closed or open, commercial or not.
Looking at what other people do:
- Mozilla are (or are planning) to use an MPL/GPL/LGPL triple license:
- KDE is complex with multiple licenses:
- Apache requires the signing of a Contributor License Agreement:
- As does OpenOffice with their Joint Copyright Assignment form:
- FreeBSD allows contributions with both GPL and BSD and keeps GPL'd
code hived off:
Some people will dismiss the project if we use the GPL. Some people
will dismiss the project if we use the BSD.
So, what to do? First thoughts are to build a licensing matrix that
allows a submit with under any license and then allows people to
download the code under any license. What code they get downloaded
depends on the license they want it under and what package their
submit gets put in depends what they license under. OK, it's a
Yes it's a nightmare. Worse it's confusing.
But I do like what FreeBSD and Mozilla have done. They seem to be
trying to interoperate the 2 main fighting factions - bless 'em - BSD
You see this is not a point of what these licenses actually contain.
It's all come down to silly factions and who's side are you on boys!
I disagree. I think it's a project by project basis, where the majority
interests sometimes find the BSD license more advantageous and in other
cases the GPL. These are just well tested templates. You can make up
your own license if you can show it has clear advantages.
The best thing to do is just have a clear vision of where you want
Kendra to go and then have a simple license that meets those needs.
There will be a limited number of contributers and you can maintain
a list of them. You start off with KF license 1.0, and if the needs
of the license changes then you ask the contributers to resubit
their work under KF license 2.0.
That is a way forward. But I'd really like to avoid this idea of
resubmitting work when we want to change license. Why can't you just
allow Kendra Foundation to license out your work so long as a set of
conditions is fulfilled?
I'd like to develop an item of software only once ever, not after a
couple of years have to rewrite it to take advantage of new technology.
The fact is things evolve and change. The same goes for organisations.
As a second best would you be happy licensing your submissions to
Kendra Foundation under a BSD/GPL/LGPL triple license? So, then we'll
be able to satisfy both the BSD and GPL camps. In fact those are all
the licenses you first suggested but without specifying what type of
code they should be applied to.
Personally I would say that is a bad idea. Just pick a section of the
framework and pick a license. Then everyone knows where they stand.