Open Source License Question

Dan Perl danperl at
Wed Oct 27 15:33:19 CEST 2004

Michael, I have one comment in-line (see below), but other than that I can 
only say that I chose GPL for my own project.  It may discourage use of my 
code for commercial purposes but it might even be pretentious to expect that 
something like that would ever happen.  On the other hand, I was more 
interested in the advantages of open-source and I wanted to enforce that as 
much as possible.  I did some research of my own at the time (recently, 
actually) but I didn't go much into details and I didn't study other 
licenses in detail either, but I chose GPL in large part because it is the 
most widely used.

I tried to find some of the web pages that I read when I was doing my 
research but I couldn't.  However, I stumbled upon an article that I didn't 
see before and that is very much in line with my thoughts.  Here's a link:

Hope this helps,


"Michael Foord" <fuzzyman at> wrote in message 
news:6f402501.0410270331.6f0d5fd6 at
> I'd like to formalise slightly the license I release my projects
> under. At the moment it's 'free to use, modify, distribute and
> relicense'. This is basically fine as I don't want t oprevent people
> using my work in commercial settings - but I would like to retain the
> right to be identified as the author. I'd also like to prevent people
> selling derivative works where my stuff forms the substantial part of
> the poduct.

Michael, I think it's going to be hard to get what you want.  I don't see 
how you can give a lot of freedom ("I don't want to prevent people using my 
work in commercial settings") and, at the same time, achieve something like 
"to prevent people selling derivative works where my stuff forms the 
substantial part of the poduct".  I'm no lawyer, but I don't think you can 
define in a license what is a "substantial part of the product".

> I'd prefer to use an OSI approved license - but it's not essential.
> I've been browsing through them and I can't quite see any that
> *exactly* fits the bill. Before I draft my own I wondered if anyone
> had a reccomendation.
> I don't need to require people to make a list of amendments if they
> change things. This puts the Python license out. I also don't mind
> people relicensing derivative works - a simple thanks in the
> documentation and a link to the homepage is my basic requirement.
> Regards,
> Fuzzy

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