Subject: Re: AFL questions
From: David Woolley <>
Date: Tue, 19 Jul 2011 23:33:01 +0100

Jeremy C. Reed wrote:
> I am looking at Academic Free License version 2.1 (which is a choice for 
> dbus).
> What do these clauses mean?
> d) to perform the Original Work publicly; and
> e) to display the Original Work publicly.

Perform and Display Publicly will mean what they mean in the US 
copyright legislation.  This is cancelling the default restriction 
imposed by statute.

> (Note that other clauses mention the "Derivative Works".)
> Does this mean I may not use the derivative work outside of in-house? I 
> may not use a derivative work in any example that is viewed (like a 
> screenshot or video)?

I think that the argument here is that the original author didn't create 
the derivative work, so is not legally capable of granting rights to it 
or at least not to all of it.

Note, especially in the USA, screenshots may well be considered fair 
usage, if their use really is fair, rather than an attempt to work round 
> Clause 3 includes "Licensor hereby agrees to provide a machine-readable 
> copy of the Source Code of the Original Work along with each copy of the 
> Original Work that Licensor distributes."
> At first read, I thought this was a "copyleft" license. But it doesn't 

The explanatory text <> 
indicates that is intended to be closer to BSD in nature.

> indicate the derivative work. So you don't have to make your changes 
> public, but you do have to provide the original code. (Clause 6 mentions 
> source code for derivative works -- but does not say it has to be 
> shared.)
> Clauses 2 and 4 appear to conflict in regards to granting and not 
> granting patent rights.

They don't.  Anything permitted by clause 2 is explicitly excluded from 
restrictions imposed by section 4.
> Clause 9 says you should make a reasonable effort to get recipients of 
> the derivative work to state their agreement with the license. How?

"Reasonable" is standard legal language for apply common sense.  It 
doesn't want to force you to use a particular technique which may be 
incompatible with newer technology.


David Woolley
Emails are not formal business letters, whatever businesses may want.
RFC1855 says there should be an address here, but, in a world of spam,
that is no longer good advice, as archive address hiding may not work.