license

Arthur ajs at ix.netcom.com
Tue Jan 21 00:57:38 CET 2003


>I'd agree with you that such a modification is annoying and rude.  I
>think Terry is taking the side of "you're using someone's code for free,
>and then complaining about it" which also has some validity.

As is the code I provide.

But a little twist here is that the distributor is not the developer. He
sought of  "controls"  it.  He did not write it. In fairness, he does
support a user group - and is responsive to that user group.  It his not his
code, though.

I actually wrote my code.  Not only is free and opensource. But it was done
on my own time, time stolen from my family and my *real* work.

I'm the good guy, here.  Of course.

People seem to be watching a different movie than me, much of the time.

> I'm not sure what the package in question is, but I have to ask: does it
make
>sense for it to do this?  If the package were, for instance, a modified
>version of Python itself, or if it modified the behavior of Python in a
>fundamental way, then perhaps replacing the top-level documentation
>might make sense.

Ipso facto, it cannot make sense to overwrite a file that is part of the
standard Python distribution, unless one works real heard first to tell me
that is what is going to happen when I push the install button.  The "ipso
facto" part is to scare you into thinking I might be a lawyer.

Anything is sensible, with notice attached, in a separate distribution - as
the damn license implies.

I am thoroughly confused.  The Python license says that if you are modifying
it, you notify users of the modifications.  In essensce, that is the only
restriction.  Under your hypopthetical, in my mind, there is either
notification, or there is a license breach.  It seems to disturb people that
I am suggesting that it is possible to breach the Python license, and
possible to believe that the license is quite serious about what it says.

The case I bring up, if it is a breach at all is a relatively minor one- and
I am not claiming to be the lawyer to say it is, and a lawyer - or someone
more informed than I, can tell me it clearly isn't. But its ugly. Nobody can
convince me otherwise.  And I was simply wondering out loud whether it
might, in addition, be a technical breach.

More importantly, God knows I didn't write Python and I am certainly not the
one to decide whether a breach that in fact does exist will be pursued in
any way.

If anybody wants to call me the Devil, that - I suggest - would be the
proper basis. Who the hell am my to worry about breaches of the Python
license.

But I was being more abstract and theoretical than I think some people
appreciated.

Breaching licenses, in letter or spirit, *even in making free softwareI* is
not a good thing.  I don't think that's a very controversial statement.


> Not that anyone wants to be picayune.  The ugliness is the real point. But
> it is,isn't or might be a particular kind of ugliness.

>Personally, I think you should fork the code.  Anger can be a great
motivator.

I should and will.

But its another damn pain in the ass.

And I don't like doing other people's work.

This guy got a damn grant, and I am asking nothing from him other than to be
sensible and sensitive to other peoples needs surrounding the code he didn't
write.  I am not asking to comply to *my* standards.  I am asking him to
comply to *community* standards.

Another oh well....

Art







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