Subject: Re: Releasing Under Artistic License
From: "Karsten M. Self" <>
Date: Sat, 30 Jun 2001 08:43:30 -0700
Sat, 30 Jun 2001 08:43:30 -0700
on Sat, Jun 30, 2001 at 02:07:30AM -0400, Adam Theo ( wrote:
> Hello, Adam Theo here;
> well, i have finally decided what open source license i will release 
> most or even all of my programs under. i carefully read all the licenses 
> at the website over the past month, and have settled on 
> the Artistic License.
> i liked this one because it doesn't let the code "fly away" from the 
> original author too easily, but still allows a great amount of 
> reasonable freedom and rights for users and re-developers. and it is 
> well established and popular in the community already.
> any comments, urging me to reconsider or telling me of drawbacks i may 
> not have known about? it is not final yet, so can be undone. thanks.

The Artistic License is generally considered to be weak from a legal
standpoint, RMS describes it as "intentionally vague" at the FSF's
license discussion page.  It's currently used, even in Perl, largely in
conjunction with other licenses (largely GPL).  There's been a
significant effort underway in the Perl community to develop a new
license which accomplishes some of the goals of the AL, (largely:
artistic integrity, namespace protection, relicensing freedom), but in a
more rigorous manner.

I haven't followed your posts here but would suggest you look again at
what your aims are and find a license or licensing model from one of the
following:  GPL, LGPL, MozPL, BSD/MIT, or the fairly new, unbranded,
version of the IBM Public License (name escapes me, possibly "Open
Public License").

There are rationales behind each license, my $0.25 summary:

  - GPL/LGPL:  ideological, aimed at spreading, promoting, free
  - BSD/MIT:   technological, aimed at spreading, promoting, a technical
  - MozPL:     "business pragmatic", allows a mix of free and
    proprietary licensing models by defining a narrower scope of what is
    considered covered by the license (source files), while allowing
    addition of other components.  See also Sun's SISL for related
    concepts and addition of documented interfaces and conformity
  - IBM PL:    Similar in some regards to MozPL though with a different
    bent.  A stronger focus on patent issues, weaker restrictions on

IANAL, this is not legal advice.

Karsten M. Self <>
 What part of "Gestalt" don't you understand?       There is no K5 cabal
   Are these opinions my employer's?  Hah!  I don't believe them myself!

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