[Python-Dev] License cleanup

Greg Stein gstein@lyra.org
Wed, 15 Sep 1999 18:37:17 -0700

Mark Hammond wrote:
> Actually, this is a good point.  I know the issue of payment may get
> in the way, but it would make sense to have any future proposed
> licenses reviewed by a lawyer "on our side" - eg, someone whose
> mandate is to give a legal opinion on the risks and liabilities of the
> _user_ of the license.

Interesting thought!

> Obviously the CNRI lawers are protecting their
> (ie, CNRI's) interests, and everyone on this group is concerned about
> their own (ie, personally, their company, or companies they wish to
> introduct Python into) interests.

Because of these varied interests, I don't think a review by a
particular lawyer will be greatly helpful. The question will still
remain: "did the lawyer review it from [my/our/company] perspective?"
This will lead people back into the same review cycle.

> But as I said, who will pay?  If nothing else, we should ensure the
> OSI approves of the new license...  Or maybe we can convince CNRI
> there is real and serious concern, and they could pay for an external
> IP lawyer?

Definitely having an OSI certification will be great (cool stuff on the
cert for the existing license!). Having Bruce Perens review the license
would also be a great boon (see www.perens.com for some of his writings;
also see http://perens.com/Termination.html specifically).

Licenses are a tough issue. I had to go through this entire morass when
deciding what to do with mod_dav. There are a lot of varieties and
issues and stuff to cover. I've read a bunch of license (not to mention
a bazillion legal documents during the eShop/acquisition days). Not
always exciting reading :-), but usually quite interesting.

At this point, I think it is a great thing that CNRI is reviewing the
license. Unfortunately, the license wasn't as non-controversial as it
was thought to be :-(. I'm more than happy to wait and see where they go
with the license.


Greg Stein, http://www.lyra.org/