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Re: Updating the OpenContent license

>>>>> "D" == David Wiley <dw2@opencontent.org> writes:

    D> I have to agree with Deb. While I think it makes sense to clear
    D> up confusion around two licenses with the same acronym (which
    D> may or may not involve unifying them)

It seems to me, though, Deb has confused the licenses yet again.  I do
not see any perceivable difference or imaginable context where the
Open Content Licence is preferable to the DGPL.  The OCL, if I can
call it that, is terse, and that is its only advantage.  In its
terseness, it lacks any teeth.

    D> Deb Richardson wrote:

    >> I think that this is an extremely bad idea.  Having more
    >> licenses, particularly those like the OPL and the new FSF
    >> licenses, is a good thing.  Having only one license doesn't do
    >> much for an author's "freedom of choice"

No, more licences just breeds confusion.  If you do a search on
Freshmeat you will find only just over half the entries are GPL or
GPL-derived licences (apparently the GPL itself is under a GPL ;) but
the other 50% is a nightmare --- I suggest allowing a polyglot of
ill-conceived roll-yer-own licences is tantamount to software patents:
Future developers/integrators/authors/users cannot do anything without
a lawyer present to ensure what they do is actually legal.

For example: The Linux Documentation Project is illegal.  I have
pointed this out before and it fell on deaf ears, but ignoring a
problem is not a legal defense.  Under the 1984 international
copyright laws signed by all western industrial countries, the LDP is
in violation of copyright law because it distributes copyright
material. QED.

Acronym confusions apart, it is also clear that we need to have a
_flexible_ licence; we must accomodate the needs of publishers and
authors, and the need of the community.  DGPL suits a certain niche,
but is inflexible.  The open publication licence, on the other hand,
is flexible.  If I want to explain my licence, I can say "Go to
opencontent.org and read Option B" --- even if there are 4 or 12
options, it lends consistency to the other clauses and the variations
are manageable.

    >> I, as an author, would very much like to be able to choose
    >> whether others are allowed to modify my released documents or
    >> not.  I would also like to be able to choose who has and hasn't
    >> print publication rights.

OPL options A and B.

    >> ...  Documents
    >> licensed under such restrictions are not appropriate for the
    >> Open Source Writers Group project

OPL sans options

    >> Open Content technical documentation should, whereever
    >> possible, be released under a license that allows for free
    >> distribution, modification, and publication.  


    >> It also has to be accepted that not everyone is going to
    >> release their documents under a license that is acceptable to
    >> everyone.  That's just part of the game.

Agreed, but consider that 50% of Freshmeat contributors disagree with
you and all of them side with the GPL, and as a result, the GPL is
the most quoted certificate of "open source"

Gary Lawrence Murphy <garym@canada.com>  TeleDynamics Communications Inc
Business Telecom Services : Internet Consulting : http://www.teledyn.com
Linux/GNU Education Group: http://www.egroups.com/group/linux-education/
"Computers are useless.  They can only give you answers."(Pablo Picasso)

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