Public Domain Python

Grant Griffin g2 at
Wed Sep 13 22:41:06 CEST 2000

Charles Hixson wrote:
> Grant Griffin wrote:
> > ...
> > It depends on what you mean by "Python".  Perhaps you're thinking of the
> > "core", but by "Python", I mean the entire thing: all C source, all
> > Python libraries, all documents, all miscellany.  After all, if the goal
> > ...
> > Speak softly but carry a big megaphone.
> > --

<hehe> -- Good one, Grant!
> The existing license is applied to how much of that.  I'm not totally sure of
> the justification.  If, say, an XML gizmo is included with the language and
> was written by someone as a contribution to Python under the old license, why
> does the new license apply to it?
> OTOH, if the license says "much of the code was based on...", how can one
> figure out which parts?

Ironic isn't it?--there's no percentage in trying to drive lawyers
crazy: that only gives 'em more employment.  <wink>

But seriously folks, I'm beginning to think that the many legal
dimensions of open-source software are completely untenable in the
aggregate.  The solution seems to be to pretty-much ignore all the
things that drive lawyers crazy (which seems to be pretty much the _de
facto_ answer up until now; there seems to have been almost zero
litigation on the subject), or else to create some new body of statute
law to "clarify" this mess.

Since the latter seems unlikely, I vote we stick with the former.

> Perhaps "all" one would need to reimplement would would be the
> compiler/virtual machine.  I don't think that the included libraries can
> really be claimed, except for some of them.

I guess it depends on what private licensing agreements CNRI has made
with Python contributors.  I don't have any idea what the terms for that
have been (Tim?), but I remember hearing here that CNRI did require "wet
ink" licenses for major contributions, and e-mail licenses for minor

In Perl modules, it's very common to see things "licensed under the same
terms as Perl itself" (which is the user's choice of Perl's "Artistic"
license or the GPL).

and-that-works-because-those-licenses-don't-ever-much-change-ly y'rs,


Grant R. Griffin                                       g2 at
Publisher of dspGuru                 
Iowegian International Corporation

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