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

Ben Finney bignose+hates-spam at benfinney.id.au
Thu Mar 19 15:32:41 PDT 2009

Rick Moen <rick at linuxmafia.com> writes:

> WTFPL is a superb object lesson in why people who don't give a damn
> about law and want it to go away are exactly the _wrong_ people to
> write software licences -- and why they are best advised to use
> standard, well-tested ones that everyone with a clue already knows
> and understands.
> If they shoot at only their own feet, I'd just say "Good, leave 'em
> to Papa Darwin" -- but then there are derivative works and
> redistributors, who might well get hurt, too.

In spite of my prior message on this thread sympathising with the
attitude that produces things like the WTFPL, the current state of
copyright law (to the limited extent I understand it) means that when
discussing licenses I certainly concur with Rick's message here.

One small advantage of distributors such as the Debian project being
friendly yet firm with copyright holders in requiring licenses that
are explicit and robust and have survived widespread scrutiny, and
perhaps even legal test, is that the pain of all this busy-work
perhaps keeps the throbbing tooth of copyright law in focus of the
copyright holders.

I can only hope that will help in that tooth's eventual removal and
subsequent recovery. The collateral damage, of works whose copyright
holders threw up their hands and gave up before successfully granting
a license useful to the recipient, is tragic.

 \      “If sharing a thing in no way diminishes it, it is not rightly |
  `\                      owned if it is not shared.” —Saint Augustine |
_o__)                                                                  |
Ben Finney

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