license

On Copyright Assignment

A little while back, Michael Meeks published a lengthy piece about copyright assignment (not nearly as lengthy as the articles he links to on untangling Wittgenstein’s net). Go on, read it (Michael’s stuff, not the net). It’s worth your time. When you get to the bottom, follow the link to Dave Neary’s take on assignment […]

Read More

On removing GPL code

Last week, Diego Iastrubni asked removing GPL code, prompted by MonoDevelop’s announcement that it had removed all the GPL code in its codebase, thus opening the road to proprietary plugins. Well Diego, there’s an app organization for that. Depending on your jurisdiction, you could ask the Free Software Foundation in the United States, the Free […]

Read More

Understanding Licenses, bit by bit (4)

It took a little while, but I wrapped up the licenses-as-icons with a summary in tabular form. It’s not on this blog, because I don’t know how to pull in fancy CSS and tables into wordpress. Instead, it lives on one of my personal sites for now. It will move to the FSFE pages in […]

Read More

Understanding licenses, bit by bit (2)

Thanks to all those who commented on my recent proposal to “iconify” licenses. That is, representing the essential terms of various Free Software licenses as icons so you can quickly get a feel for their meaning. This is, in the current state of software licensing, no replacement for actually reading and understanding the licenses, but […]

Read More

Understanding licenses, bit by bit

An idea that is suggested every now and then is to look at software licensing and give it a kind of “Creative Commons” feel; that is, present the terms of the license in a pleasant and orderly way by means of icons. Now, we’ve already come to the realization that calling something “Creative Commons licensed” […]

Read More

Doing it right (on the wrong side of town)

Ah, the Powder Blues band. Apologies, mostly. I know a place on the wrong side of town, Where the band width is cookin and they’re loading on down, Joe compiles like his souls on fire, Baking a new firmware for a telephone wire, Rev up the sources, compliance comes down, Doin it right on the […]

Read More

Back from EOLE

Wednesday I was at the European Parliament building for the EOLE. The event is a medium-sized (say 60 attendees) legal oriented event around Free Software; this year it featured a track full of definitional goodness — let’s try to formulate words commonly used in Free Software (in licenses, but also other writing) in terms that […]

Read More

Looking at Licenses – LLVM

I was surfing around — you know, the usual sequence of Slashdot, Groklaw, random linked articles — and encountered the LLVM license (actual license text). I thought I would take a moment to look at this one and compare it to other permissive Free Software licenses. Broadly speaking, the LLVM license is one that allows […]

Read More

Free Software but not Open Source

It is possible for software to be Free Software (in the sense of GPL version 2 compatible), and yet not satisfy the requirements of the Open Source Initiative for being an Open Source license. This is an obscure corner case in the GPL, because people usually (not always) mean Free Software when they say “Open […]

Read More

Sounds like GPLv2

The GPL version 2 was written back in 1991, in some sort of “plain english”. At least the intention was to write a clear document that allows recipients of a copyrighted work (e.g. a compute program in source code form) the four freedoms, 0: The reedom to use, for any purpose; 1: The Freedom to […]

Read More