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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 cut!


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 GPL, right?

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:
http://www.mozilla.org/MPL/relicensing-faq.html
- KDE is complex with multiple licenses:
http://developer.kde.org/policies/licensepolicy.html
- Apache requires the signing of a Contributor License Agreement:
http://www.apache.org/licenses/#clas
- As does OpenOffice with their Joint Copyright Assignment form:
http://www.openoffice.org/contributing.html
- FreeBSD allows contributions with both GPL and BSD and keeps GPL'd code hived off: http://www.freebsd.org/doc/en_US.ISO8859-1/articles/contributing/ contrib-how.html#AEN201

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 nightmare...

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 and GPL.

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.

Phillip.