[Project_owners] Re: SmartSync Project and Mozdev Terms of Use

Alexander Sack asac at jwsdot.com
Tue May 2 19:09:35 EDT 2006

On Sun, Apr 30, 2006 at 08:42:47PM +0200, Filippo Possenti wrote:
> Matt Seitz wrote:
> > What do you think of the GPL?  While it would allow commercial use
> > without your permission, it would require them to hand over their
> > source code.  That's usually enough to stop companies from taking
> > undue advantage of your work.
> I'll consider it.
> I'll read carefully the GPL license and any other OSI-approved license
> as soon as I'll have the time.
> For now, I made my project subject to the MPL.
> > That's a laudable goal.  I'm not aware of a current license that calls
> > for this, but you could add this requirement to an existing license.
> > However, I think you would need to be sure that the only requirement
> > is that notice be sent to a certain address, either physical or
> > e'mail.  If you require that you approve of the new project, that
> > would be contrary to a basic principle of open source:  derived works
> > do not require the explicit permission of the original author, just
> > conformance with a predefined set of terms.
> I'll never thought to force people requiring my approval... nor I think
> it would be a good strategy, since this first release of the extension
> required only a few hours to be developed (6 months working 1
> hour/week... this means something like 30 hours of working time). This
> small amount of time, for sure, will not stop people from creating a
> similar project from scratch if needed.
> An email notice is enough. I'll look for the possibility to add this
> requirement to an existing OSI-approved license.

Don't add things to existing licenses. This will render your new
license incompatible with the original license unless such a 
requirement is already in the original license. 

In general license proliferation is a problem of the open-source
community [1], because it inhibits code reuse ... e.g. if you choose 
GPL and add those term to it, no GPL project can ever reuse your 
code, nor will you be allowed to use any GPL code since your
license adds further restrictions.

Further, the specific clause you propose would be even non-free for
debian and others IMO. Unless you are a lawyer or like to do things in 
an isolated world, just stick to a unmodified mainstream license 
(read: (L)GPL, 3/2-clause BSD).

Maybe consider to just add a note to the readme that you would like
to get informed if someone makes use of your code.

[1] - http://lwn.net/Articles/124797/

 - Alexander

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