[Catalog-sig] PyPI terms

Terry Reedy tjreedy at udel.edu
Fri Mar 1 02:31:05 CET 2013

On 2/28/2013 1:19 PM, Noah Kantrowitz wrote:

> Because I happen to have YouTube open anyway:
> """ For clarity, you retain all of your ownership rights in your
> Content. However, by submitting Content to YouTube, you hereby grant
> YouTube a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free, sublicenseable and
> transferable license to use, reproduce, distribute, prepare
> derivative works of, display, and perform the Content in connection
> with the Service and YouTube's (and its successors' and affiliates')
> business, including without limitation for promoting and
> redistributing part or all of the Service (and derivative works
> thereof) in any media formats and through any media channels. You
> also hereby grant each user of the Service a non-exclusive license to
> access your Content through the Service, and to use, reproduce,
> distribute, display and perform such Content as permitted through the
> functionality of the Service and under these Terms of Service. The
> above licenses granted by you in video Content you submit to the
> Service terminate within a commercially reasonable time after you
> remove or delete your videos from the Service. You understand and
> agree, however, that YouTube may retain, but not display, distribute,
> or perform, server copies of your videos that have been removed or
> deleted. The above licenses granted by you in user comments you
> submit are perpetual and irrevocable. """
> Slightly different wording,

Noah, I understand that you desperately do not want to admit that the 
PSF requirement for uploading to it servers is unusually broad, because 
you do not want to admit that rational people might have a reason to not 
upload, but there it is.

1. The uploader only authorizes distribution via the YouTube 
infrastructure. Indeed, Google want that limitation because it wants to 
be the one that monetizes distribution. So it only streams videos (free 
ones, anyway) and does *not* download. Anyone who subverts this and 
captures the stream as a download has no rights to it.

2. The uploader can terminate the license with Google. Because of #1, 
such termination stops anyone from legal distribution.

Note: Flickr gives uploaders the choice of whether images can be 
downloaded or only embedded in a flickr web page. It also lets uploaders 
set the license that applies to flickr users. And it allows deletion of 

> only the license to comments is irrevocable,

Irrelevant to this discussion.

 > for videos they just promise to stop distributing

This is the important point.

> but not actually remove your content.

This is a mostly irrelevant practical issue. Finding and scrubbing every 
backup copy is difficult and expensive, especially for disk-image 
backups or serial tape media (if indeed they still use such) or backups 
stuck down in a deep salt mine. Any repository that does backups has to 
have this proviso. (I am sure, for instance, that Flickr does now.)

My take on the current license is this: the original upload license was 
rather minimal. The lawyer decided it was insufficient. Rather that 
craft a broader license with the absolute minimum rights grant 
necessary, the lawyer took the easy, quick, and cheap-for-psf route of a 
maximal rights grant. That is okay with me as long as it is not 
mis-represented and as long as people do not try to bludgeon me or 
anyone else in signing something we do not agree to.

Note: when I contribute text and code to the CPython repository, I also 
give up all control. I know and accept that, and even want that, because 
it also means that I can re-write *other* people's text and code. But 
people may reasonably want to keep more control over their independent 
sole-author work.

Terry Jan Reedy

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