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Re: Looking for an open source license..

From: Karen Hill
Subject: Re: Looking for an open source license..
Date: 23 Jun 2006 16:47:13 -0700
User-agent: G2/0.2

Amanjit Gill wrote:

> - I am looking for a BSD-style license, that is as BSD-compatible as
> possible but practically prohibits "relicensing" the work under the GPL
> or GPL-compatible licenses. I basically found bits of code that was
> initially released under a BSD license, but somehow years afterwards
> someone made a GPL version of that software (same name, but only
> bugfixes or compiler changes in the code). I want to prevent this
> side-effect in an open source software I am about to write.
> Any Ideas?

Hi Amanjit,

Take a look at my "Freedom License".  The GPL is vulnerable in one
particular way.  The way is this:  A person who owns the copyright can
relicense a work under any/as many licenses they want!  You can then
entice that person to dual license his GPL work to a license called
"the Freedom License".  This in effect creates a fork of the software,
a GPL one without the goodies because you cannot impose restrictions on
the GPL (turning a GPL strength into a fundemental weakness), and a
Freedom licensed one with the new goodies.

Here is how the Freedom License works.  Suppose a person creates a
program under the BSD license and then someone comes along, modifies it
a bit and releases the result as GPL.  Here's how the Freedom License
works.  You create a piece of really valuable software to the original
BSD licensed software which incorporates goodies that GPL software
authors wants.  You license it under the Freedom License.

The freedom license states that if you own the copyright a piece of GPL
software, you have permission to relicense the "Freedom License
Software" to the GPL but in exchange you must  release a "Freedom
Licensed" version of your GPL software. Quid Pro Quo.  Other than that
clause, the Freedom License is exactly like the BSD license.

This is a bit confusing but turns a fundemental GPL strength into a
weakness.  Here is a step by step tutorial on how it works.

1.  Person "A" creates a piece of BSD Licensed software.
2. Person "B" modifies that software and releases it under the GPL.
3. Person "C" modifies person "A"'s software and releases under the
Freedom license.
4.  Person "B" loves person "A"'s software and wants to use it in his
GPL version.
5.  Person "B" agrees to dual license his software per the "Freedom
License" in exchange for the ablity to release person "C"'s software
under the GPL with no restrictions.

That transaction creates a Freedom Licensed software version of person
"B"'s software!

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