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Re: New OPL Draft

On Sat, Jan 29, 2000 at 04:50:17PM -0700, Richard Stallman wrote:
>     We have also read much about license proliferation and the confusion a
>     person might feel when they see, on Freshmeat or somewhere else, a license
>     listed as "OPL." Is that with no clauses? One or both clauses? rms is right
>     in saying that we need different kinds of licenses for different kinds of
>     works... but I'm not sure if options are the way to achieve different
>     licenses. Therefore, I will make the following suggestion:
>     We should create three licenses which provide varying levels of freedom /
>     protection to the authors and publishers of documents.
> I agree completely: the clear way to do this is with multiple license,
> not with options within a license.  I've been asking Ms Petrycki since
> last summer to have separate licenses rather than options.

I don't agree.  I think we need one license with the option added as a
suffix to the title as previously proposed.  For example OPL-no_modify
or OPL-free.

One reason for using the same license is that it is easier to
understand just one license (even with options) than it is to
understand a few (or several) different licenses.  Another reason is
to facilitate interoperability.  Suppose one wanted to combine
two related documents by piecing together subsections (and paragraphs)
from each.  If they were both under the same license (even though
they used different options) it might be easier to proceed.  

For example, suppose one document uses an option of requiring
notification to the email address of the previous author and the other
document doesn't.  Then the license would allow combining these two
documents.  The modifier could select either of these two options.  Or
alternatively, the modifier might be required to choose the "freer"
option (which according to Richard Stallman would be the one where no
notification is required).

Another example would be where for one document, the option specifies
that you can't modify it without permission of the author.  Then this
could be combined with a document that used another option provided
the author agreed.  Of course this could also happen if we didn't use
the option system but used different licenses instead.  But it will be
easier under the option system because the author is already familiar
with the license.  If someone asks if they can use parts of his doc
but put them under another (and hopefully freer) option, then the
author is more likely to say "yes" right away since he's familiar
with the license.  In the other case (different licenses) the author
might not say "yes" since he would need to go through the arduous task
of reading over the proposed license that he has never seen before.  
                        David Lawyer

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