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Licensing Python code under the Python license

P: n/a
I'm currently working on a Python program, and was wondering if it's
possible to license the program, some associated tools, and a few other
libraries I've written under the Python license.

I had a look at the new PSF Python license on the list of OSI-approved
licenses, but it makes numerous direct mentions of Python and the PSF.
Is there any acceptable way to simply say that a particular source file
is under the PSF license (like you can w/ the GPL/LGPL), and would it
even apply?

Or am I just on the completely wrong track, and should I look
elsewhere? :P

Thanks.

-- Daniel

Jul 18 '05 #1
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9 Replies


P: n/a
[Daniel Keep]
I'm currently working on a Python program, and was wondering if it's
possible to license the program, some associated tools, and a few other
libraries I've written under the Python license.

I had a look at the new PSF Python license on the list of OSI-approved
licenses, but it makes numerous direct mentions of Python and the PSF.
Is there any acceptable way to simply say that a particular source file
is under the PSF license (like you can w/ the GPL/LGPL), and would it
even apply?

Or am I just on the completely wrong track, and should I look
elsewhere? :P


Here's the Python Software Foundation's advice on this:

http://www.python.org/moin/PythonSof...tionLicenseFaq

In general, the PSF doesn't encourage using the PSF Python license for
other projects, for reasons explained there. If you want to anyway,
that's fine, but you at least need to edit it to fit the specifics of
your project (as also explained there).
Jul 18 '05 #2

P: n/a
Daniel Keep wrote:
I'm currently working on a Python program, and was wondering if it's
possible to license the program, some associated tools, and a few other
libraries I've written under the Python license.

I had a look at the new PSF Python license on the list of OSI-approved
licenses, but it makes numerous direct mentions of Python and the PSF.
Is there any acceptable way to simply say that a particular source file
is under the PSF license (like you can w/ the GPL/LGPL), and would it
even apply?

Or am I just on the completely wrong track, and should I look
elsewhere? :P


Please don't. Because it does include proper names that you would have
to replace (and not in a properly templated fashion like some other
public licenses), it just becomes awkward because you can't really call
it "the PSF license" anymore.

If you want a similar license, please consider the following licenses
instead:

http://www.opensource.org/licenses/bsd-license.php
http://www.opensource.org/licenses/mit-license.php
http://www.opensource.org/licenses/afl-2.1.php

--
Robert Kern
rk***@ucsd.edu

"In the fields of hell where the grass grows high
Are the graves of dreams allowed to die."
-- Richard Harter
Jul 18 '05 #3

P: n/a
Wow. That was fast. PHP forums eat your heart out :P

Thanks for the advice. I'll probably go with either the BSD license,
or possibly the LGPL. But I'm leaning towards the BSD since it fits on
the screen...

Jul 18 '05 #4

P: n/a
>>>>> "Daniel" == Daniel Keep <da*********@gmail.com> writes:

Daniel> Thanks for the advice. I'll probably go with either the
Daniel> BSD license, or possibly the LGPL. But I'm leaning
Daniel> towards the BSD since it fits on the screen...

Isn't MIT license even shorter and simpler? A while ago some Debian
guys were speculating whether even BSD license is "free enough" to
include in Debian...

--
Ville Vainio http://tinyurl.com/2prnb
Jul 18 '05 #5

P: n/a
If this is for making money, make it either a proprietary license or
BSD.

If you're giving it away and expect nothing for it except maybe fame,
do GPL.

:-)

Regards,

Harlin Seritt

Jul 18 '05 #6

P: n/a
When you ask an opinion, you can expect a long thread list... even if
it's something inane like "What kind of license should I use?"...
hacker/geeks/freaks/wannabes are only too happy to issue an opinion --
warranted or otherwise...

Regards,

Harlin Seritt

Jul 18 '05 #7

P: n/a
Ville Vainio wrote:
Daniel> Thanks for the advice. I'll probably go with either the
Daniel> BSD license, or possibly the LGPL. But I'm leaning
Daniel> towards the BSD since it fits on the screen...

Isn't MIT license even shorter and simpler? A while ago some Debian
guys were speculating whether even BSD license is "free enough" to
include in Debian...


I encourage anybody to read Larry Rosen's book on this matter,

http://www.phptr.com/bookstore/produ...131487876&rl=1

Larry describes what he likes and dislikes about each of the licenses
from a legal point of view - giving insights you cannot possibly get
without law school.

For example, the BSD license reads

"Redistribution and use in source and binary forms, with or without
modification, are permitted provided that the following conditions are
met: [...]"

Compare this to the rights that a copyright holder has, e.g. from

http://www.whatiscopyright.org/

"exclusive right to reproduce, prepare derivative works, distribute,
perform and display the work publicly."

Strictly speaking, the BSD license gives non of these rights to the
licensee. The right to redistribute is probably *meant* to include
the right to reproduce - or is it meant to allow distribution only the
very copy that you received yourself (so you have no copy after
distribution). The right to use is not one that copyright law has
control over, so what does it mean that the license gives you that
right? (*)

What about the right to prepare derivative works? Most likely,
the license is *meant* to give this right also, since you are
permitted to redistribute modifications (but then, perhaps only
modifications of the original author?). And so on.

Larry argues that a license should be legally meaningful, and
legally clear - or else there is little point in formulating
a license in the first place. If the license is formulated
ambiguously, in the case of doubt, courts will have to interpret
them. While courts are capable of producing such an interpretation,
they sometimes do so in a surprising manner (*).

I've been picking on the BSD license because I can remember
the complaints Larry has about its text.

Regards,
Martin

(*) If you are curious: Larry argues that, while the permission to
use is meaningless in copyright law, it is meaningful in patent
law. To use something, you need a license for all patents that
would otherwise prevent you from using it. So the permission to
use *could* be interpreted to be a patent license. However, most
likely, the authors of the license did not intend it to be a
patent license - so what the right to use is remains unclear,
until courts rule on this aspect.
Jul 18 '05 #8

P: n/a
Harlin Seritt wrote:
If this is for making money, make it either a proprietary license or
BSD.

If you're giving it away and expect nothing for it except maybe fame,
do GPL.


You're kidding, right? How does the BSD license possibly offer more
protection for a commercial program than the GPL does?
Jul 18 '05 #9

P: n/a
Leif K-Brooks wrote:
Harlin Seritt wrote:
If this is for making money, make it either a proprietary license or
BSD.

If you're giving it away and expect nothing for it except maybe fame,
do GPL.

You're kidding, right? How does the BSD license possibly offer more
protection for a commercial program than the GPL does?


The BSD license offers less protection than the GPL. But it gives more
rights to the buyer of the software, so it might be an easier sell.

Daniel
Jul 18 '05 #10

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