Chad Perrin: SOB

13 May 2008

Public Distribution License; Copyfree mailing list

Filed under: Geek,Liberty — apotheon @ 03:43

I uploaded the first public draft of the Public Distribution License today.

  • It is similar to the CCD CopyWrite License in that it is a copyfree FLOW license. It differs in that it has weak heritability characteristics.

  • It is similar to the modern BSD and MIT licenses in that it is a copyfree license with weak heritability characteristics. It differs in that it is a FLOW license.

edit: The PDL, thanks in part to the similarity of its initialism to that for a somewhat well-known documentation license, has been deprecated in favor of the Open Works License.

A couple of definitions might be in order:

  • FLOW: A Free/Libre/Open Works license is essentically the same as a more limited Free/Libre/Open Source license, except that it can apply to anything to which copyright applies — not just to software. The BSD and MIT licenses both apply specifically to software.

  • strong heritability: A license with strong heritability characteristics is one that applies not only to the originally licensed work, but also to other content that connects to the originally licensed work in some way — such as statically linked libraries, books that contain a passage distributed under the terms of such a license, et cetera.

  • no heritability: A license with no heritability characteristics is one that, under its own terms, can be discarded later — similarly to the heritability characteristics of the distribution terms of works in the public domain.

  • weak heritability: A license with weak heritability characteristics is one that applies to any redistributions of the work and direct derivatives of it, but can be included in works distributed under other license terms. This applies to most, if not all, licenses that are deemed “GPL compatible” by the Free Software Foundation. It may also theoretically apply to some licenses that cannot be deemed “GPL compatible”, if it explicitly forbids distribution under the terms of the GPL, which would be a license term that might disqualify it from being a copyfree license — but not from being described as having weak heritability characteristics.

  • copyfree: Just visit the Website to find out about this one.

In addition, I have created a new mailing list for discussions of all things copyfree-related. You can find that via the copyfree Website, too. Discussion of matters related to development, promotion, and use of both the CCD CopyWrite License and PDL are appropriate topics there, as are other matters related to licensing.

Just figured I’d let you all know.

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All original content Copyright Chad Perrin: Distributed under the terms of the Open Works License