Subject: discuss: approval request: "Historical Permission Notice and Disclaimer"
From: "Bruce Dodson" <bruce_dodson@hotmail.com>
Date: Sat, 09 Nov 2002 00:11:35 -0400

[ Please discuss this template.  It's a clever idea.  You'd have
thought that someone would have thought of it before.  Bruce has
sent a few changes since his submission.  Please consult his web page
(URL at bottom) for the exact current submission.  -russ ]

I would like to ask that the following permission notice
template be approved by the OSI board.

This template is distilled from a permission notice that is
used in many packages, including two that I work with in my
own open source contributions: Scintilla, and OGDI (Open
Geospatial Datastore Interface).  A better known example of
this template is the CWI Permission Notice on Python 1.5.x.
The license for AT&T / Lucent AWK also follows the pattern.

Python is now under a different, OSI-approved license.
However, so many other packages remain under this style
of permission notice, and some of these will never
change their license.  Thus it is important to recognize
this template so that these packages can be acknowledged
as OSI certified open source software.

Also, more to the point for my own interest in this
template: Suppose I distribute a work that includes
code that I licensed under this style of permission
notice.  I want to be able to put my own code under
AFL, affirm that the CWI-style permission notice still
applies to the library that I used; and call the
package as a whole OSI Certified.



I am suggesting the name "Historical Permission Notice
and Disclaimer", since it implies that this template
isn't really intended / recommended for new software,
but is meant to acknowledge software that has
historically been licensed under these general terms.



Explanation of the Template:

Angle brackets hold "fields", e.g. <copyright holder>.

If a field appears more than once, subsequent appearances might
use a short form of the same name.  The CWI notice for Python
1.5.x is an example of a case where this was done.

Square brackets hold optional text, e.g. [or <related entities>].

Squiggly braces hold "alternative spellings" for some required
word.  This is to try to accomodate trivial variations such
as are found in the Scintilla license.  e.g. {the|that}.

A license can have variations in capitalization and
whitespace, and still be considered an instance of this
template.


The template:

-----BEGIN-----

[<license name>]
Copyright [(C)] <year(s)> [by] <copyright holder>[.]
[All rights reserved][.]

Permission to use, copy, modify and distribute this software and
its documentation for any purpose and without fee is hereby granted,
provided that the above copyright notice appear in all copies, [and]
that both {the|that} copyright notice and this permission notice appear
in supporting documentation[, and that the name [of] <copyright holder>
[or <related entities>] not be used in advertising or publicity
pertaining to distribution of the software without specific, written
prior permission].  [<copyright holder> makes no representations about
the suitability of this software for any purpose.  It is provided "as
is" without express or implied warranty.]

[<copyright holder> DISCLAIMS ALL WARRANTIES WITH REGARD
TO THIS SOFTWARE, INCLUDING ALL IMPLIED WARRANTIES
OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS{,|.} IN NO EVENT SHALL
<copyright holder(s)> BE LIABLE FOR ANY SPECIAL, INDIRECT
OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES OR ANY DAMAGES WHATSOEVER
RESULTING FROM LOSS OF USE, DATA OR PROFITS, WHETHER IN
AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, NEGLIGENCE OR OTHER TORTIOUS
ACTION, ARISING OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE USE OR
PERFORMANCE OF THIS SOFTWARE.]

-----END-----


Since this template is meant to retro-fit onto existing
licenses, there's little room for negotiation on the
wording.  The notice has ambiguities that make it hard
to recommend when licenses like AFL are available, but
these can't be fixed, or the template would not fit the
existing licenses any more.  (This template is clearly
for old software, not new software.  That much is
evident in the name.)

There may be other licenses which are practically
identical to this one, but which differ in some tiny,
inconsequential way.  Discussion on license-discuss
might reveal ways to easily accomodate these.  (An
example: Scintilla uses "and that both that license
and ...", while most other instances use "and that
both the license and...")  However, it is unlikely
that we will accomodate every possible nuance in
version 1 of this template.  The 20/80 rule applies.
I think I have handled the most common variations
in this draft.



In accordance with the approval process, I've placed
a copy of the license on a web web page:
http://www.geocities.com/brucedodson.rm/hist_pnd.htm



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