Revisiting the license unification idea

Daniel Stone daniel at
Sat Sep 22 16:15:19 PDT 2007

On Sat, Sep 22, 2007 at 11:23:01PM +0100, Daniel Drake wrote:
> The license requires us to include the license text *and* copyright 
> notices with the product (some say "with all copies" but we believe that 
> a binary constitutes as a copy, some explicitly talk about 
> documentation). Many packages didn't have COPYING files or had 
> incomplete ones (e.g. without copyright notices). So I had to go through 
> lots of code finding all the notices, and aggregating them into our 
> product documentation.

Thinking more about this, the GPL section 1 is probably a far better
approximation of what we want: you can't strip any copyright or license
from the source, but you're not required to display it in your
documentation/manual/etc.  We lose out in the case of binary vendors
being able to just recompile and never acknowledge us, but if we're
trying to protect against that, then the last 22 years have shown us
that we've already lost anyway.

(In theory, open source vendors could be in the clear by simply
 distributing the source files as part of their product, which fulfils
 the requirements.)

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