Squeak Licence

Jim Gettys Jim.Gettys at hp.com
Fri May 6 16:29:27 UTC 2005

Apple has revised license terms on *some* of their other open source
software in response to community concerns recently.

I will note that many companies have been new to open source, and as
their lawyers become educated, they often find that one of the widely
used licenses is sufficient rather than rolling their own.

Don't expect behavior that isn't in the business interest of a company
however; but as I don't see how Apple can benefit from the current
situation, it may be a more fertile time to ask than a few years ago.
				- Jim

On Fri, 2005-05-06 at 11:46 -0400, Lex Spoon wrote:
> Alexandre Bergel <bergel at iam.unibe.ch> wrote:
> > Serge, Stef and I are interested to promote Squeak at an Open Source conference (http://2005.rencontresmondiales.org). However, it is likely that we cannot because Squeak is not what we call "libre" (I am not sure whether "libre" can be translated into "free").
> > 
> > The commitee of this conference reject our proposal because, according to them,the Squeak's Licence is not "libre" implies that each user has to conform to the US law on exporting... Is it true ? 
> > 
> Yes it is.  They probably had to include it.  Or at least,  Apple's
> lawyers seemed to think they had to.  Is the committee suggesting that
> Apple should have ignored its lawyers?  Or are they going to reject all
> US-based projects because we embargo rights-abusing dictators?  Does a
> free software conference really want to say that freedom means you have
> to support an oppresive dictator?  Isn't that a little mixed up?
> It sounds like they don't care about the real world, though.  They just
> want to play lawyer.  In that case, maybe you guys should ask them
> whether they have considered whether citizens of right-of-author
> countries -- most of Europe -- can legally participate in open source
> projects at all.  Such people can't just say "I turn this code over to
> project Foo".  It would just be words on paper.  You always retain some
> rights in a right-of-author country, and those rights can easily be
> incompatible with open source organizations.
> Here's an article about it by (gasp) an actual lawyer-type.  You might
> try forwarding it to them:
> 	http://www.ceplovi.cz/matej/clanky/fre-en.html
> This article concludes, among other things:
> "Therefore, current users of free works created by the Czech authors
> (who did not accept license by some other means than mere use of the
> work) are using such works illegally."
> So if this conference really want to play lawyer, then they should
> reject projects that accept contributions from Czechs and any other
> countries the analysis applies to.  Such projects are not merely
> non-free -- they are illegal!  
> Hopefully, though, this exercise reminds them that they are computer
> guys and not lawyers.  Law sucks, in our field the law is just getting
> started.  Just wait until court cases actually start happening.  If the
> above author is correct, then cherished licenses like GPL will be no
> protection--they may well merely make you an easier target.  And the
> rules will be different in every country.....
> If these guys do come back to earth and take an interest in freedom (as
> in the Eglish--err, French--language), you might remind them that Squeak
> is free (as in money), that it is freely downloadable for anyone who has
> an Internet connection (including Cubans), that it includes *all* the
> source code (more than Linux can say), that you can hack it all you
> like, and that you can redistribute your changes.  You can even sell
> your modifications of Squeak without giving out the source code.    This
> is more real freedom than you get from Linux, gcc, or emacs.
> In law and in practice, these guys are full of it.  Why don't they stop
> causing trouble for fellow computer geeks and get on with the cool
> stuff?
> -Lex

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