[MonoDevelop] Licensing concerns.

Steve Deobald steve@citygroup.ca
Thu, 15 Jul 2004 04:24:39 -0600

On Thu, 2004-07-15 at 01:55, Bernhard Spuida wrote:
> Hi,
> On 14 Jul 2004 at 13:27, John Luke wrote:
> > > 2) If you plan to reuse code from other projects, fork a project 
> or
> > > depend on previous work, familiarize yourself with the implications
> > > of the licenses and legal issues involved. Just skimming the preamble
> > > of a legal text is not enough.
> > 
> > Um, thanks for insulting me.
> If you take it this way, please your self. As for me, in my position 
> as #develop senior word wrangler, I receive quite a number of emails 
> regarding misunderstandings etc. of license. It seems that in these 
> days of clickthrough agreements most people simply do not read 
> anything looking like legalese. Did you actually ever *really* read 
> the EULA for say, Acrobat Reader? Honestly?

[ Dislaimer: I'm not a MonoDevelop developer, SharpDevelop developer, or
lawyer. I'm merely a longtime #D/MD user concerned by recent events. ]

I will not speak for John. I very well may be overstepping my bounds by
even responding to this email. If I am, I apologize. However, if I were
in his position, I would not only take offense to the original comment,
but to the comparison drawn between reading a "clickthrough agreement"
and dedicating months to developing a GPL-licensed application.

For the record, I've read through the GPL -thoroughly- on a number of
occasions. Yet, in a 4 minute IRC conversation, John brought to light a
number of highly-varied interpretations of ambiguous portions of the GPL
I had never even considered before. It should be noted that at no point
did he advocate any of these positions; I believe he was merely stating
them for the sake of discussion. I think it's also worth noting that,
whatever his personal views may be (I do not know them), he has fully
has accepted your position in this matter. 

Regardless, it became quite apparent to me he has a deeper working
knowledge of the GPL than many people I know who have studied it at
length. It would make more sense to point the finger at the vague,
outdated license in question than someone who *has* taken the time to
"familiarize [himself] with the implications of the license and legal
issues involved."

He has every right to feel insulted by your comments. I certainly would