How to change the squeak licence ?

Andrew Greenberg werdna at
Tue May 24 03:55:25 UTC 2005

On May 21, 2005, at 1:42 AM, Ross Boylan wrote:

>> Beyond this general haze of liability that exists in today's world, I
>> don't see what all the fuss is about with Squeak-L.  It's armchair
>> lawyering,

Ah, yes. This thread again.  Isn't it a few months late this year?

> As is any assessment of a license by a non-lawyer.  We either do that,
> or hire a lawyer for every single agreement we encounter.  The
> fuss is over a number of provisions that appear contrary to some
> people's definition of free software (restrictions against certain
> classes of individuals) or to open up a worrying, if probably
> theoretical, liability (indemnification clause).  This does not
> exhaust all the concerns I've seen expressed.

And nevertheless, it is the license we have.  Many of us have found  
it adequate for our purposes, and certainly some others have not.   
Some consider it free-er than GPL, and some consider it wholly un- 
free.  De gustibus non disputandum est.

Some earlier folks in this thread suggested that we might not be  
bound by the license, quibbling about the shrinkiness or clickiness  
of the licensing.  Here's the problem -- if the license isn't binding  
-- it isn't binding on either the licensor or the licensee.  This  
means that our reproduction, distribution or derivation from the  
program is unlicensed, and hence Copyright infringement.  That would  
be a bad thing, far worse than being stuck with even an unhappy license.

Such is the virtue of the X-wrap, if you aren't accepting the  
license, by what excuse are you using the software at all?

At any rate, the following remark is salient.

> This is all somewhat idle chatter until and unless someone is prepared
> to do something about the license, like contacting Apple and Disney
> with a serious proposal.

And lets not forget each and every contributor to Squeak since the  
beginning of time.  Its non-trivial to change a license  
unilaterally.  And all it takes is the will to do it.  Several folks  
have mapped the way, but nobody seems to have the will to follow it.

 From this, I conclude that Squeak-L is more acceptable than many  
have suggested.  At least that it is more acceptable than the  
alternative of actually rebuilding a clean-room Squeak.

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