Subject: RE: Plan 9 license
From: "Matthew C. Weigel" <>
Date: Sat, 22 Jul 2000 13:09:35 -0400 (EDT)

On Sat, 22 Jul 2000, Rod Dixon, J.D., LL.M. wrote:


> I do think David makes a very good point. Although provisions like sections
> 6.1(i) and 6.1(ii) are not unusual for non-mass market software licenses,
> they do not seem to meet the spirit of an open source license. (Of course,
> it would not be in the spririt of open source to bring such a lawsuit
> either, but the restriction is what we may be concerned about, here). 

Ummm, what?  Suing someone for violating the terms of an open source license
is 'not in the spirit of open source'?  Then what's the point of doing
anything but sticking the code in the public domain, with a _request_ that a
particular license be followed?  It's certainly reasonable to try to work
things out first, but then also you get into a situation where companies now
feel free to violate licenses until someone calls them -- because if they
change as soon as someone calls it, then nothing bad happens, but they
possibly reap benefits from before.  Be, for example, was able to have a
boot loader before they'd gotten around to writing one themselves this way.

>                                                                        Even
> if section 6.1 did not really bother anyone as a general matter, David's
> point is correct that the language is so broad that it does not limit its
> reach to the subject matter of the license. I would recommend that Lucent
> consider making their intent more clear under section 6.1.

I've followed a little discussion on comp.os.plan9 on the subject (I really
*do* like Plan 9, I wasn't trolling for licensing discussions), and Rob Pike
seemed clear that the license as it stands is a reflection of what Bell Labs
wants, rather than legalese thrown in by a lawyer.  I'm not certain I
disagree with their reasoning, but I think that unless their intent changes
the license won't be OSI Certified.

 Matthew Weigel