2004-03-26 (Friday)

by havoc

Since people are asking about the AFL again,
here is the story. The idea of the license is to be an X/BSD-type
license written in proper best-practice legalese (see below). There’s
a patent clause right now that was well-intentioned but kind of
broken; a revision to address the patent concern is supposed to be in
the works, and we’re waiting for the new version to relicense D-BUS
under it.

Here is some explanatory text that once came with the license, it’s in
dbus/COPYING also:

The following is intended to describe the essential differences
between the Academic Free License (AFL) version 1.0 and other open
source licenses:
The Academic Free License is similar to the BSD, MIT, UoI/NCSA and Apache
licenses in many respects but it is intended to solve a few problems with
those licenses.
* The AFL is written so as to make it clear what software is being
licensed (by the inclusion of a statement following the copyright notice
in the software). This way, the license functions better than a template
license. The BSD, MIT and UoI/NCSA licenses apply to unidentified software.
* The AFL contains a complete copyright grant to the software. The BSD
and Apache licenses are vague and incomplete in that respect.
* The AFL contains a complete patent grant to the software. The BSD, MIT,
UoI/NCSA and Apache licenses rely on an implied patent license and contain
no explicit patent grant.
* The AFL makes it clear that no trademark rights are granted to the
licensor's trademarks. The Apache license contains such a provision, but the
BSD, MIT and UoI/NCSA licenses do not.
* The AFL includes the warranty by the licensor that it either owns the
copyright or that it is distributing the software under a license. None of
the other licenses contain that warranty. All other warranties are disclaimed,
as is the case for the other licenses.
* The AFL is itself copyrighted (with the right granted to copy and distribute
without modification). This ensures that the owner of the copyright to the
license will control changes. The Apache license contains a copyright notice,
but the BSD, MIT and UoI/NCSA licenses do not.

(This post was originally found at http://log.ometer.com/2004-03.html#26)

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