[MUD-Dev] Proper liscense for MUD source? Perhaps not GPL... (fwd)

J C Lawrence claw at cp.net
Tue Dec 21 11:27:59 New Zealand Daylight Time 1999


On Tue, 21 Dec 1999 00:17:55 -0500 (EST) 
Rahul Sinha <rsinha at glue.umd.edu> wrote:

> On Mon, 20 Dec 1999, J C Lawrence wrote:

> I cannot agree that it is "immoral" or "wrong" to use this license
> however, as any developer that releases source code is inherently
> doing the "buyer" a favor, or at least providing a service that is
> not an intrisic right, but rather a purchasing point

Agreed, which was part of my point on my source being mine and
therefore the choice of license being mine.  

>> Contracts, and licenses, need to practice fair exchange -- to
>> give as much as they take.

> no this is not the case; no contracts are invalidated on grounds
> of being "unfair".  You sign, you buy.

While IANAL of course, I have had been involved in litigations where
contracts were thrown or ammended in court becasue they the
attempted interpretation was excessively one-sided and thus violated
the basic perceived intent of the contract in benefitting and
protecting both sides.

That all said, the above is a statement of my view and what I
consider acceptable moral principle, and made no claim to be a
statement of law.

>>  My source is mine.  Period.  I choose the license I use for
>> releases.  (I presume that you've read Linus' statements on this
>> area?  If not see the Linux Kernel or BitKeeper License list
>> archives) That license may be affected or even defined by the
>> license on the code I started with, but whether or not I release,
>> and when and how, are my decisions, and nobody elses.

> bullshit, when you use someone else's work, you are bound by their
> wishes, hence why FSF requires all submitters to give their
> copyrights to the FSF in writing...

Please read what I wrote again.  In paticular you might like to read
the last sentence of my quote again and see how your comment fails
to contradict it.  Further, the assignment of copyright to the FSF
for Gnu products has very definite legal reasons which are unrelated 
to the brunt of this conversation.

While I'm not sure where to find them now (maybe the Debian lists
from the early days of the DFSG?), you might also like to dig up
RMS's reasons for choosing tramission as the viral infection point
rather than mere possession or implementation.  It was definitely a
calculated and deliberate decision.

Yes, licenses can be viral, and yes, as I wrote above, the choice of 
license on code I wrote may be affected by the license on the code I 
started with.  However it doesn't HAVE to be.

Observe:  

  If I take a Gnu product under the GPL, even one with copyright
owned by the FSF, hack it however I wish, roll it out across
hundreds of users or whatever, as long as I never transmit that
product to someone else (company, whatever) the GPL never invokes
and I am under no obligation to provide source to anybody.

  I now, for some reason, decide to release "my product".  From a
licensing vantage I have a number of possibilities, a few of which
are (there are more):

    -- I could donate my changes to the FSF and assign copyright to
       them etc.

    -- I could GPL my changes and not assign the copyright to the 
       FSF.

    -- I could license my changes under a non-GPL license, even a
closed source you-may-not-redistribute license and provide my
changes as patch files against the original GPL product and never
distribute binaries.

Would this later case violate the assumed intent of the GPL?
Absolutely.  It is however explicitly conformant with the
requirements of the GPL.

>>> If a server were released under these conditions, do you think
>>> it would be successful?
>> 
>> Please define "success" first.

> meet the stated objective of apprehending code forks.

Then yes, I suspect it would be successful under those terms.  I
rather doubt however that it would be any more successful in
minimizing code forks.

--
J C Lawrence                              Internet: claw at kanga.nu
----------(*)                            Internet: coder at kanga.nu
...Honorary Member of Clan McFud -- Teamer's Avenging Monolith...


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