[Spambayes] Spam Bayes use in a corporation

Tim Peters tim.one at comcast.net
Thu May 20 11:28:38 EDT 2004

[Brent Bertram]
> Just want to remind everyone that we are a corporation,

Right, that was clear from the start.

> our software person says being a corporation changes things.

Is this a person you listen to often <wink>?  If you need competent answers
to legal questions, you need to pay lawyers.

> What is your experience with Open Source and Corporations?

Companies that understand Open Source are in a minority, but profit from it.
Companies that use Python (which SpamBayes is coded in, and which is also
released under the PSF license) include Google and Industrial Light & Magic.
Hewlett-Packard ships Python on their new PCs, and Mac OS X also comes with
Python installed.  Hundreds of companies use Python, none of them paid the
PSF a penny for it (although many donate to the PSF), and none of them have
any special arrangement with the Python Software Foundation -- the PSF
license explicitly gives them the rights to use Python, and that's the only
contract they have with the PSF.  Since the PSF is the copyright holder,
that's the only contract they need, too.  The PSF license is also the only
contract you'll have.  At this point you need to read the license, and/or
get it reviewed by corporate counsel.  I advise against asking your
"software person" more about this -- you need a "legal person" to resolve
legal issues.

> I think they have their mind stuck on Freeware.

Well, something is confused here.  I'm not clear on what Freeware means to
you, or to whoever it is we're talking about indirectly here.  No Open
Source license can discriminate against corporations (read the definition at
the OSI site I pointed you at last time).  All Open Source licenses allow
anyone to use the licensed software without charge, and to modify the
licensed software however they like for their own use; the main point on
which they may differ is in restrictions imposed on distributing derived
works.  In a nutshell, the GPL requires that derived works be distributed
under a license "similar to" the GPL; the PSF license does not; but this
distinction is irrelevant to you unless you intend to distribute derived

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