More license stuff

Jeff Shannon jeff at ccvcorp.com
Fri Feb 15 01:29:30 CET 2002


Virginia O wrote:

> I snagged this question from a thread below...
>
> >>OK, let's forget about the legal stuff for the moment.
>
>  More importantly, good manners. Let's say I'm wrapping up a Python program
> with py2exe, and I'm going to distribute it. Which files would I be expected
> to include as a matter of courtesy to the Python developers (and the
> developers of any additional modules that I use)? Just the licence files, or
> is there anything else?
>
> Cheers,
> Simon Brunning
> >>>>>>>>>
>
> I also, being a newbie, don't understand what all this licensing jargon
> means in terms of distribution. If I write a program, and sell it, then
> what? I do understand I need to speak with a intellectual properties lawyer,
> but I'd like to get a handle on things before I get started.'

The Python license explicitly states that this is fine.  First off, any code you
write (whether in Python or in C or whatever) is yours to do with as you
please.  The Python license explicitly gives you permission to use code modified
from the Python standard library, and to redistribute Python itself to anyone
you want to.  You could presumably even charge money to redistribute Python...
though, of course, since anyone can get it for free from the python.org site,
it'd be a tough sell.  ;)  The only real restriction that the Python license
has, is that if something bad happens, you can't sue the PSF or the Python dev
team over it.  So if that Python application dies and some client loses
thousands of dollars, well...  it's not the PSF's fault.  Whether or not that
client can sue *you* depends on the license that *you* put on the code that you
write, and whether that client agrees to it....

(Note, of course, standard disclaimers that I am not a lawyer nor an IP expert;
this is merely an anecdotal layman's understanding of the license.)

Jeff Shannon
Technician/Programmer
Credit International






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