Subject: Re: Educational Community License question
From: Russell Nelson <>
Date: Tue, 1 Nov 2005 10:52:46 -0500

Jules writes:
 > I interpreted that line to mean only to what was printed immediately 
 > following, without any modification allowed. 
 > I thought the OSI intended to have the whole thing as listed in the 
 > webpage in as verbatim and any change would have rendered the license 
 > invalid and thus not capable of applying the OSI License Mark/Graphic 
 > on the documentation.  Looks like my assumption was incorrect. :)

Your assumption is correct.  You cannot change a single word of a
license without losing approval.

You claim copyright when you say "Copyright...".  You give up some of
your copyright rights when you say "Licensed...".  You can give up the
same or different rights if you say "Also Licensed...."  You should
ALWAYS list all licenses that apply.  The ECL happens to require that
you do so.  It's not a necessary term to have in a license, but
obviously some lawyers like to state the obvious just in case it's not
as obvious as one would obviously think.

 > So, I guess i can insert my customized notices between these two 
 > lines:
 > "Copyright (c) <year> <copyright holders>"
 > and 
 > "Licensed under the Educational Community License version 1.0"
 > and not be in contravention to the OSI license, yes?

Yes, that is what you should do.

 > Can anyone from the Board or Management of the Open Source Initiative 
 > confirm this is indeed ok by the OSI? 

I'm not stating an official position that has been voted on by the OSI
board even though I'm a member of the board.  I do think that I'm
restating things on the OSI website that the board has already voted
on.  I'm also giving legal advice even though I'm not a lawyer.  I can
do that because ... I'm not a lawyer.  Lawyers can't ethically give
legal advice to the public.  You are well advised to get legal advice
from a lawyer, just as you should get programming advice from a
programmer.  I don't know what you should get from a programming
lawyer or a legal programmer.

--my blog is at         | 
Crynwr sells support for free software  | PGPok | There ought to be a law
521 Pleasant Valley Rd. | +1 315-323-1241       | against calling for more
Potsdam, NY 13676-3213  |     Sheepdog          | regulations!