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Hot Topic (More than 10 Replies) Open source license choice (Read 6960 times)
Christer Alexander
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Re: Open source license choice
Reply #15 - Jun 3rd, 2002 at 4:43am
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Michael wrote on Jun 3rd, 2002 at 12:36am:
Because I'm not a lawyer? Undecided Rather use one that's tried and true, you know? I could write one, I suppose, if I had a general idea of what was "right," but after seeing all these licenses, each written in a different way (compare the GPL vs. the MPL or the NCSA).

Actually, though, maybe something simple would work out, if it's really clear. The NCSA license looks like a good one to that effect. It's about a tenth the size of the rest. Wink Basically says the copyright must be retained and there's no warranty. I just wonder if the "without restriction" part is giving away anything important that I've overlooked?


My brother is a lawyer....want me to ask him to write up a good one?
  

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Michael
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Re: Open source license choice
Reply #16 - Jun 3rd, 2002 at 12:30pm
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If you are wanting anyone to use your code freely, you don't need a bunch of stipulations. You basically need something that says "Hey, don't remove our copyright. If you incorporate parts of our code into your program, give us due credit. No, you cannot copyright this yourself. We invented it, so it's still ours."
...
Easiest way to get screwed is to agree to rules you didn't make up, IMHO.

Yeah, but the law sucks so much these days, it's easy to get screwed no matter what, it seems. I mean, c'mon, a woman winning a few million dollars from McDonald's because she spilled hot coffee over herself? Positively ridiculous, but it happens. Odds are that we'll never face this problem, I suppose, but better not to take the risk and try to get everything covered. I dunno.. I think I'll take Krikkert up on his offer and see what his brother says, and I'll ask my dad's opinion too, since he's worked in the industry for years.. Maybe you're right.

Heh, here's a good view of the situation.

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Most of the stuff I've ever worked on never had a pre-made license. I believe YaBB has it's own, too.

YaBB's is a blatant copy of the GPL, with the words "General Public License" replaced with "YaBB Public License." I'd never noticed it before. Someone even forgot to replace an "(address here?)."
Edited:
Hm, okay, not a "copy," but a "modified version," which is permitted.


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My brother is a lawyer....want me to ask him to write up a good one?

Would you? Well, actually, would you ask him what it would take to just ensure that the code can be used in any way as long as the copyrights are retained? Can we just say "This code may be used and/or modified free of charge for any purpose with the stipulation that the copyright must be retained in the source code and in any 'credits' or 'about' displays in the software"? Thanks, Krikkert!
  

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Christer Alexander
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Re: Open source license choice
Reply #17 - Jun 3rd, 2002 at 3:23pm
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You should use this:

The code of this application can be used for any purpose as long as this copyright notice follows the modified code, and is displayed in all texts that shows information about the application.


I think lawyers are weird....I don't know what he said, then he explained, and I wrote down the easiest form of it  Roll Eyes
  

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Michael
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Re: Open source license choice
Reply #18 - Jun 4th, 2002 at 2:15am
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Okay, thanks for braving the legalese and checking that out, Krikkert! That's essentially what the NCSA license says, so I think I'm going to go with that, if there are no objections!

Talked with my father, btw, and he agreed that it would be best to not try my hand at writing my own, as (essentially) I don't know what I'm doing.
  

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Michael
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Re: Open source license choice
Reply #19 - Jun 8th, 2002 at 2:06am
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Last call, any objections?
  

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Shoeb Omar
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Re: Open source license choice
Reply #20 - Jun 8th, 2002 at 4:42am
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no Cheesy
  

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Christer Alexander
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Re: Open source license choice
Reply #21 - Jun 8th, 2002 at 10:26am
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no objections here....not from my bro either Wink
  

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Michael
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Re: Open source license choice
Reply #22 - Jun 9th, 2002 at 12:10pm
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Okay, sorry to do a complete 180 on you, but after exchanging e-mail with someone more experienced than I (Linus Torvalds of Linux fame), and discussing it further with my father (who also has a great deal more experience), last night I changed my mind and decided I'd rather go with the GNU GPL than the NCSA/BSD.

Some explanation:
- As Linus told me, using the NCSA/BSD or other non-viral licenses, if the project becomes commercially viable, someone can pick it up and run with it, making additions/improvements/changes without making them available to the public.
- What my father told me struck me the most, however. In 1980 he developed a virtual terminal software for his Master's thesis that allowed people to connect from their minicomputers (Apple II's at the time, I believe) to an IBM mainframe at their school or workplace. Not long afterwards, a company called VisiCorp began selling a product called VisiTerm. This "VisiTerm" was my father's software, improved somewhat, but very much the same, down to having the exact same menu and his name embedded in the Assembly code. It was being sold for about $300 a copy.
- My thoughts are that, although this MOST LIKELY will never become very popular or of much consequence, there are many people in computing who had no idea what their creation would become. And so, rather than risk some unscrupulous person running with it, making some changes, and selling our hard work, I'd like to make sure it remains free. Originally, I wanted a looser license so that no one would feel restricted, in terms of being forced to use the GPL or anything. But now I think that, even if some potential commercial developer sees the GPL and changes their mind, that's no loss to us, only to them. If they really do want it, they'll probably accept the GPL, and we'll have professional additions to the community and code. Again, odds are very good that the commercial situation will NOT arise, however, I certainly can't tell the future. So, if it's going to be free, we might as well make sure that it stays free.
  

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Re: Open source license choice
Reply #23 - Jun 9th, 2002 at 7:01pm
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okely dokely. You spoke to Linus Torvalds?!?!?!??!?!?!?! Shocked
  

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