Subject: For approval, by license steward, a license recognizing public domain derivation
From: Joel Rees <joel_rees@sannet.ne.jp>
Date: Sun, 11 Apr 2010 17:14:43 +0900

I am using this license in distributing an implementation of FORTH  
derived mostly from the public domain fig-FORTH models.

The repository is at

http://bif-c.svn.sourceforge.net/viewvc/bif-c/

Because of the current ambiguities about the public domain, I want to  
claim copyright, and I could use the MIT license or a BSD templated  
license, but I want the license to make it clear that I respect the  
public domain, and that I expect others to do so, too.

I suppose that makes this a special purpose license, of sorts,  
primarily applicable to the present political difficulties involving  
the public domain.

The primary differences between this and the MIT license, I think,  
are stated in the explanatory notes, that this recognizes the public  
domain derivation and sets a wall between.

I'm not sure about the "hidden or obscured" phrasing. If this license  
were to be presented in a splash screen or as a launch-time pre-amble  
to a command-line interpreter, it would definitely present problems.  
I think the context takes care of itself, however.

This is the text of the license (from the file LICENSE.TXT):


     5 ------------------------------------ 
LICENSE-------------------------------------
     6
     7 The author or authors grant permission to use and/or  
redistribute (convey)
     8 this work in either source or object form under the following  
terms:
     9
    10
    11 LICENSE:
    12
    13 When redistributing or conveying the code for any purpose, all  
included
    14 notices of copyright and/or authorship must be faithfully  
retained in
    15 clear and referenceable form.
    16
    17 This license must also be included, as is, neither hidden nor  
obscured.
    18
    19 Any accompanying files to which other licenses apply shall  
exlicitly so
    20 specify in a prominent position within the file.
    21
    22 If this work contains code copied or derived from works  
assigned to the
    23 public domain, neither this license nor claims of authorship  
in this work
    24 shall be construed to extend to those works.
    25
    26
    27 DISCLAIMER:
    28
    29 This license SHALL NOT be construed as either endorsement or  
warranty.
    30
    31 Under this license, THIS SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED AS IT IS, AT NO  
COST,
    32 WITHOUT ANY EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTY OF ANY SORT,  
INCLUDING, BUT NOT
    33 LIMITED TO, WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS OF PURPOSE.
    34
    35 Specifically, under this license, THE AUTHOR OR AUTHORS SHALL  
NOT BE
    36 LIABLE FOR ANY DAMAGES WHATSOEVER, DIRECT OR INDIRECT, ARISING  
FROM THE
    37 USE THEREOF, EVEN IF ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGE.
    38
    39 USE ENTIRELY AT YOUR OWN RISK!
    40
    41
    42 Explanatory notes:
    43
    44 * Use:
    45
    46 Use should be understood to include any reasonable, moral,  
eithical,
    47 and legal use.
    48
    49 This license, of course, does not attempt to deal with illegal  
use,
    50 leaving that topic to the applicable laws.
    51
    52 Moral and ethical use should be considered to be between the  
user and
    53 whomever or whatever the user holds to be supreme in such  
matters.
    54
    55 Reasonable use is left to the user's sense of judgement, with  
a note
    56 that the author or authors cannot be held accountable for the  
user or
    57 users' lack thereof.
    58
    59 * Rights of ownership and keeping records:
    60
    61 It is expected that those who modify either source or object  
will have
    62 enough sense to keep records of the original, unmodified form 
(s), and of
    63 the modifications they have made. Some sort of source code  
control is
    64 recommended.
    65
    66 At any rate, keeping a copy of the original code used as a  
starting
    67 point should help in untangling questions of ownership of  
code, not to
    68 mention being invaluable in debugging.
    69
    70 * Public domain work and borrowed code:
    71
    72 At the time of the first release, this work contains significant
    73 portions of code that are simple translations, in the  
mathematical sense
    74 of a regular transformation grammar, from public domain work.  
Copyright
    75 on the results of simple translation is very limited, very  
much dependent
    76 on the copyrights in the original code.
    77
    78 While the author(s) claim limited copyright to the resultant  
translation
    79 in this case, and full copyright to the use thereof in this  
work, it
    80 would be an indefensible display of ingratitude, not to  
mention unethical,
    81 to attempt to make claims on the borrowed code itself.
    82
    83 Unfortunately, there are many who seem to assume that they can  
slap their
    84 own copyright on public domain work, as children calling out  
"Dibs! I saw
    85 it first!"
    86
    87 For this reason, the license makes special mention of what  
should be
    88 obvious about borrowed code in general, that copyright  
transitivity
    89 operates in one direction only, and that neither this work nor  
the
    90 license thereof can or ought to be used to attempt to reverse  
that
    91 transitivity.
    92
    93
    94 --------------------------------END-OF- 
LICENSE----------------------------------


Joel Rees
(waiting for a 3+GHz ARM processor to come out,
to test Steve's willingness to switch again.)