Public Domain Python

Charles Hixson charleshixsn at
Fri Sep 15 22:47:49 CEST 2000

I don't think anyone knows what they can do.  They probably can't backdate the license
change to before Virginia made UCITA effective (this coming December, I believe, so that
lets out backdating changes this time).  But nobody really knows what that dam*ed thing
means.  NOBODY.  And it has some extremely frightening language included.  It's probably
unconstitutional, but first you need to fight it up to the supreme court, and then
convince them to take the case.  So it will be awhile before that happens.

Commercial Software:  The commercial software vendors put all sorts of language into their
license agreements, but most of it wasn't enforceable, so folk tended to ignore it.  Guess
what?  Now it is (will be) enforceable.  Folk who continue to ignore it are in for a rude

Grant Edwards wrote:

> In article <slrn8s2gbs.5rr.wtanksle at>, William Tanksley wrote:
> >>That sounds _exactly_ like all of the commercial software vendors I've ever
> >>dealt with.
> >
> >First of all, Python isn't supposed to be commercial software.  Comparing
> >it to worst-case commercial software isn't right -- I don't want Python to
> >ever be as bad as BEST-case commercial software.
> >
> >Second, no it doesn't.  Commercial software vendors are tyrants, but
> >they're also accountable to their users.
> You must be a bigger customer than I ever was -- few if any of
> the vendors I dealt with ever acted accountable.
> >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!
> Very true.  However, they can't take _back_ previous licenses
> that have been granted.  If the new license isn't acceptible,
> users can split off and continue to develope Python under the
> old license.
> >>The difference is that with things like Python, gdb, etc.
> >
> >> 4) if other people stop supporting the product I at least have the
> >>    choice of supporting it myself if I want to.
> >
> >This is the beautiful thing about open source.  It's what I'm
> >worried about CNRI taking away from us!  If they can change the
> >license like this, and make the license retroactive to the
> >first version they released,
> IANAL, but I don't think they can do that, can they?
> If they can retroactively change the terms of a license which
> had been granted at some point in the past, then that is scary.
> --
> Grant Edwards                   grante             Yow!  I'LL get it!! It's
>                                   at               probably a FEW of my
>                                  ITALIAN GIRL-FRIENDS!!

-- (c) Charles Hixson
--  Addition of advertisements or hyperlinks to products specifically prohibited

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