Subject: Re: FOR APPROVAL - Python License Changes
From: John Cowan <cowan@mercury.ccil.org>
Date: Wed, 25 May 2011 23:17:13 -0400

[-license-review +license-discuss]

Lawrence Rosen scripsit:

> You may also assume in today's world that the GPL author has included
> other components in that GPL program whose licenses are compatible
> with the GPL (as she understands "compatibility"). There may be Apache
> components (or derivative works of such components) in that program,
> and the Apache License is still operative for those components. If you
> fail to honor the conditions of the Apache License, you may suddenly
> become an infringer.

This is true in the general case, but all the stacked Python licenses
are basically permissive licenses.  Absent other indications in the
source that specific files are under specific licenses, I think that *in
effect* all the files are under the same license, namely the most recent
license.

This is a general problem with permissive licenses: if I incorporate
BSD-licensed code into a more restrictively licensed file by way of
merger rather than mere aggregation, the terms of the BSD code demand
that its license be copied with the source even though it is no longer
the controlling license of the source.  The result is potentially very
confusing.

> I sort of like the way this makes software patent infringement
> lawsuits potentially more costly for plaintiffs.

Good, says I.  Patents are broad-based restraints on how people are
allowed to do certain things.  My view is that they shouldn't exist.

-- 
La mayyitan ma qadirun yatabaqqa sarmadi                            John Cowan
Fa idha yaji' al-shudhdhadh fa-l-maut qad yantahi.              cowan@ccil.org
                --Abdullah al-Hazred, Al-`Azif      http://www.ccil.org/~cowan