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Re: [Caml-list] License Conditions for OCaml
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Date: 2001-11-30 (07:12)
From: james woodyatt <jhw@w...>
Subject: Re: [Caml-list] License Conditions for OCaml
On Thursday, November 29, 2001, at 12:47 , Florian Hars wrote:
> On Wed, Nov 28, 2001 at 05:25:23PM -0800, james woodyatt wrote:
>> The two licenses that spring to mind most readily to me are the 
>> Artistic
>> License, and the Apple Public Source License.
> But if you consider using these, you might want to take the FSF's
> stance on these license into account: [...]

M. Leroy expressed an interest in licenses that meet the OSI definition 
of an "open source" license.  Both of these licenses are certified by 
the OSI, and INRIA would probably meet little resistance if they 
introduced a license for OCaml that says essentially the same things.

For reasons you should be able to infer from my previous post on this 
subject, I am probably less concerned with the stance taken by the FSF 
than you.  All I will say on that subject is that you quoted the parts 
of their page in which the FSF criticizes older, now-superseded versions 
of both the Artistic and the Apple Public Source licenses.

In the case of the Artistic license, the FSF says the newer "clarified" 
version is compatible with the GPL.  In the case of the APSL, all their 
complaints but one (i.e. the freedom to deploy modifications to the 
software "in private" not being quite as absolute as they would like) is 
addressed by the latest version.  An argument can be made that the FSF 
is holding to this one predicate primarily to further a narrow political 
agenda.  No, I don't feel like making that case.

So yeah, if compatibility with the GPL and achieving the blessings of 
the FSF is a concern: go with the "clarified" Artistic license, or 
something like it.  Everyone should be happy.  On the other hand, if any 
of these licenses are ever tested in court, I think the odds favor the 
APSL being found more enforceable than any of the ones the FSF 
approves.  I would think INRIA might be interested in the protections 
against patent abuse found in the APSL, which is why I mentioned it as 
an alternative.

I will now shut up about licensing issues.  It's a dull, tedious 
subject, and M. Leroy has already said enough to reassure me INRIA will 
not be changing the license for OCaml to something I would find a 

j h woodyatt <>
"...the antidote to misinformation is more information, not less."
                                                      --vinton cerf

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