[linux-elitists] Fwd: RFC: Freecell Solver Licence "Change"

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Thu Mar 19 11:12:40 PDT 2009

Quoting Don Marti (dmarti at zgp.org):

> Why not stick with something that's already in
> /usr/share/common-licenses, and that people already
> know, unless there's a really compelling reason to
> do otherwise?

Some coders claim that standard permissive licences (BSD, MIT/X11)
are "too long and too complex".  I boggle every time I hear that -- but
then I've never been a fan of the Hold Your Breath and Turn Blue school
of legal scholarship.  

Anyway, the logic appears to go:  "BSD is too long.  MIT/X11 is too long.  
I just want to grant maximal freedom.  Therefore, I'll decomplicate
matters by revoking the work's copyright entirely by act of will."

To which, my answer to those people is:  "Congratulations, your
"decomplicating" creates a slew of unintended legal complications.  
Instead, you _could_ have had a straightforward permissive grant 
at the cost of one line of licence, avoidance of warranty liability with
two, and that plus OSI certification with three."

_Of course_ MIT/X11 and similar are indeed far better choices, but I'm
trying to address the (bizarre, dumb) objection as stated.

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