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- Subject: Re: License
- From: "Thatcher Ulrich" <tu@<a href="/cgi-bin/echo.cgi?tulrich.com">...</a>>
- Date: Tue, 19 Feb 2002 14:33:00 -0500
On Feb 19, 2002 at 01:00 -0500, John Passaniti wrote:
> > I agree with Reuben. As near as I can tell, the
> > other licenses used for open source scripting
> > don't seem to include a no language change clause.
> Can someone please explain to me why this is even an issue?
> When I was first evaluating Lua as the scripting language for a product
> I was working on, I read the license. It took a minute. It was clearly
> written and didn't require me to go to some archive of standard licenses
> where I must wade through endless text-- and often text that is really
> disguised essays on free and open source software.
> I'm all for standards where there is a benefit that can be objectively
> measured. In the case of the Lua license, I see no benefit in adopting
> someone else's license. Before that is done, I'd like those who see the
> need for a "standard" license to state the objective benefits.
This is a fair question.
A standard license is good because, while licenses are commonly
evaluated by programmers, they are enforced and governed by lawyers.
There's nothing particularly wrong with the Lua license from a
programmer's perspective; personally when I read it I think it's
perfect. However, I am not a lawyer, nor do I want to be, so I'm not
competent to *definitively* say what it means legally.
The standard licenses on the other hand, have undergone a lot of
scrutiny by lawyers and non-lawyers alike. For the average Lua user
like you or me, this is not such a big deal, but for people who
package open-source software (e.g. Linux distributions), or people who
want to use many open-source packages in a project, standard licenses
are much more helpful, because they can leverage their existing
knowledge and policies. The proliferation of slightly-different
licenses can be a big problem for distros, since the nature of
legalese is that it can have unintuitive and unintended meanings, even
when a single word is changed. Meanwhile authoritative legal advice
is expensive, while the consequences of a mistake can be even more
Thatcher Ulrich <firstname.lastname@example.org>