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Roberto wrote:
> But I still have a question:
> what about the licence's licence? That is, to copy someone else's
> copyright notice do we have to include something like "this copyright
> notice is copyrighted by ..."?  ;-)

It's not so outrageous.  The GPL starts with a copyright and verbatim copying 
permission for the license.  Most other licenses don't appear to have 
addressed this issue.

Eric Ries wrote:
> Why don't we just stick with the Lua license? I have noticed that most
> Lua-related projects tend to simply use the same license as the Lua
> distribution itself, much in the same way that most Perl projects use the
> same license as Perl. Although the FSF does not like the Perl (artistic)
> license much, they agree that having consistency within the community is a
> Very Good Thing. Further, because Perl is licensed under the GPL and the
> Artistic license, it is deemed Officially GPL Compatible but without
> preventing closed-source forks (which can still happen under the Artistic
> license).

All software authors have the right to create a new license for their work.  
That doesn't mean they should create a new license.  Exactly for the 
consistency you speak of, it is better to have a limited number of 
well-known standards.  Think of it like internet protocols.  Having a few 
competing protocols is good, while having too many (for example each mail 
application inventing its own protocol) is not.

We already have a number of licenses existing today.  If authors continue to 
make new licenses (even by changing a single word of another license) instead 
of adopting one that exists, how many licenses do you think will exist fifty 
years from now?  Nick's confusion is nothing compared to what future 
generations will face.

The other advantage to a well known and limited set of licenses is 
automation.  It would be nice to create a database that can answer 
compatibility questions and let you query by general concepts like "free 
software".  If some author derives from a free license by changing just one 
word, no computer program (or even average person) can tell you if it's still 
a free license anymore.  The same goes for whether compatibility with 
other licenses has changed.  You have to call a lawyer.