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Re: [Fsfe-uk] Re: FYI, re `BCS OS Licence'

From: Alex Hudson
Subject: Re: [Fsfe-uk] Re: FYI, re `BCS OS Licence'
Date: Wed, 11 Jul 2007 13:26:07 +0100

On Wed, 2007-07-11 at 13:00 +0100, MJ Ray wrote:
> [Ian Jackson <address@hidden> wrote:
> > Quoting http://ossg.bcs.org/2007/07/24/:

Good grief.

> I'm up for reading statements from whoever and backing them up either
> personally or formally.  I looked at UK-specific licences while on the
> AFFS.org.uk committee and (although I don't have my notes here) I
> remember finding very few licences and none of them had a compelling
> reason for existing.  Maybe current AFFS people can find a copy of my
> UkLaw notes file on the AFFS server?

I will try to look for you.

IIRC, we also found some pretty strong statements from a UK Justice who
basically said that he found UK-ising licenses (I think we were talking
CC at the time) was a thoroughly pointless and potentially dangerous

> Licence soup is one of the biggests threats to free software's
> commercial success and it is disgusting that BCS seem to want to waste
> software developers' money in this way.

I think it signals more of a lack of understanding on their part, sadly.

This document is telling:

It includes gems like:

        "The OSI has indicated that there are too many Open Source
        Licences already. Feedback from the OSSG website has also
        doubted the benefit of another OS licence. The fact is however
        that no well grounded licence exists under the laws of the
        various jurisdictions of the British Isles. An example is that
        under English law the GPL as written provides no right to run
        the software. This fact is seldom known and arises because of a
        subtle difference between American and English IP laws."

(Apparently, "The act of running the Program is not restricted" isn't
good enough in English law? hahahaa...)

They've been pushing this idea for ages, and further down I think shows

        "The BCS stands to benefit from the BSL in a number of ways.
         * There is the reward for leading the way on Open Source
         * The BSL license process will generate a revenue to help pay
        for the maintenance of databases. Charges can be discounted for
        BCS members, thereby encouraging membership.
         * The licence and code databases represent an exploitable asset
        for the BCS."

Sad, really.


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