Public Domain Python

Pat McCann thisis at
Fri Sep 15 22:01:38 CEST 2000

wtanksle at (William Tanksley) writes:

> CNRI is NOT accountable to us, yet it IS changing the license.  That is
> enough right there to strike fear into anyone's heart.  The fact that THIS
> license is nice doesn't mean that they won't just up and do it again!

I think it DOES mean that they won't.  Well, it makes it very unlikely
that they will, and it means you're free to ignore them if they do (and
if you're willing to get a court to enforce your rights). They can
change licenses and claim retroactivity all they want, but the new
license (by their own wish and words) definitely has created contracts
under which people (eg, BeOpen) are and will continue use Python 1.6 and
are legally free to ignore attempts to change the terms of the contract.

>From all we know about CNRI, they are unlikely to do so.  They did it
this time because they considered the CWI license to not establish a
irrevocable contract.  (That's probably not true and they're streching
to claim ownership of the entire thing; but those are other battles
nobody sees a need to fight.)  It seems pretty low-risk to assume that
CNRI will not be doing something illegal by coming after you with a
team of lawyers to scare you from exercising your contracted rights.
(That's probably a valid statement even if you ignore all claims of
relicensing of pre-1.6 Python.)

The above is NOT a lawyer's legal opinion.

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