[Python-Dev] License cleanup

Mark Hammond mhammond@skippinet.com.au
Wed, 15 Sep 1999 10:49:35 +1000

> I believe the text of the license and forms we use is quite
> uncontroversial; these very same words have been used for JPython
> quite a while.  The words are all on the web:

Obviously IANAL.  However, this language does make me feel less
comfortable than the existing one.  The ability to terminate would
appear an issue - it would seem to take a braver CEO to base their
technology on Python with this hanging over them.  Sure, it may rarely
be invoked, but I certainly wouldnt want to fight it in court if it
was.  If I was writing in C, I could worst-case grudgingly accept
needing to change compilers - but I dont have that luxury for Python.
If my license was terminated, I have nowhere else to turn.

It is a real shame when lawyers get so involved.  Obviously Guido has
no say in this, but IMO the ideal scenario would be to use the exsting
language, but simply change the names and dates.  Im guessing this
would be unacceptable to CNRI.

Being NAL, I suppose I have no choice other than to trust this
licence.  However, Im not looking forward to showing this licence to
people as they are deciding if Python is the appropriate technology
choice - to date, there has never been an issue - all they need to is
not remove any copyright notice from the code (which is not actually
seen in most apps) and add the copyright notice to the documentation.
This new one seems much scarier to me..

Just my $200.00 worth (remember, we are talking lawyers fees here :-)
I dont have a real concern as I dont understand the legal
implications; just a slight uneasiness about it all...Not being
controversial for the sake of it, just airing my possibly il-informed
opinion - no opinions were solicitied, but that has never stopped me
before :-)

Of course, I will be sending my "wet" signature on the form.  Im not
sure what to put in the "contribution description" - maybe just
"various small changes to the Windows port"??  I can't say Ive added
entire modules, but my name appears against a number of small patches
to a fairly large set of files...