[Python-Dev] License cleanup

Greg Stein gstein@lyra.org
Thu, 16 Sep 1999 10:27:49 -0700

Barry A. Warsaw wrote:
> Interesting article, but IBM's termination clause was different than
> the JPython one.  I fought hard on para7 because IIRC, RMS complained
> that an earlier version /could/ have been used to arbitrarily
> terminate.  I think the current JPython para7 is better because /you/
> have to materially breach, which seems like a much higher threshold.
> But it still may not be perfect.

Yes, I was aware that it was a reactive termination, rather than
arbitrary. That makes it quite acceptable, but it still isn't a
desirable thing. Especially given some of the grey area in the license
("are we sure we aren't in breach of the license?").

Personally, I'd rather see a license without a termination clause. If it
must be there, then I'd like to see it as tight as possible (see the IBM
and Apple licenses: IIRC, they only kick in when the user initiates
patent litigation against IBM/Apple; the termination cuts them off as an
initial response to the suit).

The other elements I raised actually caused me more anxiety than the

If CNRI finds it acceptable, I'd recommend they use an existing OSD
license. They get immediate certfication and, more importantly, a
builtin awareness in the open source community of what the license
really means. Each time a new license arrives in the community, bunches
of people have to go an figure it out; if the new license is the IBM
Public License with a search/replace on the company and product name,
then people go "oh. all righty. no problem." and move on to doing real

Dang. I keep replying to this stuff. :-) I'm hoping that we wrap this up
pending a new release.


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