Subject: Re: Dual licensing
From: Rick Moen <rick@linuxmafia.com>
Date: Mon, 14 Jun 2004 23:51:37 -0700

Quoting nospam+pixelglow.com@pixelglow.com (nospam+pixelglow.com@pixelglow.com):

> All, esp. Sam & Rick:
> 
> Sorry to be pedantic, but after looking at the OSI-approved RPL, it is
> obvious it restricts internal use:

(Casting my mind back to figure out the connection to me:)

If memory serves, Stephen North raised a question about whether
copyright law reserves the right of making derivative works irrespective
of distribution to the copyright holder.  I replied (in effect) that
it's an unsettled point of law and likely to remain so.

Point One:  Finding an OSI-cerified licence and saying it purports to
regulate internal use unfortunately doesn't resolve the point of law.

I've never looked at the RPL until about five minutes ago.  It looks to
me like yet another basically pointless also-ran, but feel free to prove
me wrong and make it a world-beater.  (I won't be holding my breath.)

> 1.2 "Deploy"... includes without limitation, any and all internal use or
> distribution of Licesned Software within your business or organization other
> than for research and/or personal use...

Point Two:  OK, the term "Deploy" is defined within the scope of the
licence as including many internal uses.  But then, the question then
becomes what rights and duties are specified in reference to that term.

That other shoe appears to drop in clause "6.0 Your Obligations And Grants":

   Any Extensions that You create or to which You contribute must be
   Deployed under the terms of this License or a future version of this
   License released under Section 7. 

Straightforward copyleft (reciprocal) clause.  A further sentence of the
same clause requires that what you make and Deploy must be distinctly
titled from the original code.

Section 6.1 is the privacy-infringing clause, whereby source code of
anything you Deploy must be available publicly for 12 months.

You may recall a different but related thread:  Restrictions of that
sort on private usage are unpopular with a lot of people, but nowhere
barred by the OSD.

   An earlier version of the Apple Public Source License (currently at
   2.0) contained such a provision.  It was judged OSD-compliant 
   (because, well, it _was_ OSD-compliant), occasioning some mildly 
   unpleasant spats between commentators who found the provision 
   reasonable and others (e.g., Stallman) who considered it to 
   infringe privacy rights nobody had previously considered in that 
   context.

So, RPL has a moderately noxious anti-privacy clause, illustrating that
the intersection of "OSD-compliant" and "dumb idea" aren't a null set.
QED.

(My opinion; yours for a small fee and disclaimer of reverse-engineering
rights.)

-- 
Cheers,                            Ceterum censeo, Caldera delenda est.
Rick Moen
rick@linuxmafia.com  
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