Copyright & licenses (was RE: [Python-Dev] Python Enhancement Proposals (PEPs))

Tim Peters
Fri, 14 Jul 2000 04:06:42 -0400

[Greg Stein]
> Why must we assert copyrights on these things?  Come on, people.  Aren't
> we seeing Python 2.0 release problems because of copyrights?

[Fred L. Drake, Jr.]
>   No.  *Licensing* is distinct from copyright, and that's where we see
> problems.

The question of who is to be the next copyright holder will become a bone of
contention too before this is over, don't you think?  What to do with all
the current copyright notices is already a point of negotiation (e.g.,
should CWI really have a notice in files that didn't even exist yet under
their tenure?  etc.  Note that when I added pyport.h to the project, I put
in only a BeOpen copyright:  *someone* is bound to gripe about that too,
provided I ever admit to it in public <wink>).

I personally would like to get Python out of the copyright *and* license
games forever, by releasing Python to the public domain (as, e.g., Ralph
Griswold did with the Icon language from the start -- and enjoyed a
hassle-free life ever after; yes, at least one closed-source copyrighted
commercial version of Icon did appear, but that was no skin off Prof.
Griswold's nose; he kept working on the PD one, and the commercial version
eventually gave up -- heck, rather than see their work wasted, they
contributed most of what they did back to the PD Icon Project!).

I don't believe there's any real downside to PD in America so long as you're
not afraid to compete on merit alone.  Don't know about international law,

> The copyrights are indisputable, but are not a problem.

Pshaw -- everything's disputable <wink>.

and-everything's-a-problem-ly y'rs  - tim