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Mark Leighton Fisher (4252)

Mark Leighton Fisher
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http://mark-fisher.home.mindspring.com/

I am a Systems Engineer at Regenstrief Institute [regenstrief.org]. I also own Fisher's Creek Consulting [comcast.net].
Friday March 07, 2008
01:09 PM

pmtools-1.10 Release

[ #35860 ]

Now at a CPAN mirror site near you pmtools-1.10. Tom "spot" Callaway of Fedora Core let me know that the Fedora folks were concerned about the fact that pmtools was only licensed under the Perl 5 Artistic License (they were concerned about how well the Artistic License 1.0 would stand up in court). So, pmtools (starting with v1.10) is now dual-licensed like Perl (Artistic and GPL). (My other public Perl stuff is also dual-licensed.) I also added my copyright to pmtools, as I had not added my name to the copyright when I took it over.

Off-hand, I don't recall why Tom Christiansen used only the Artistic License for pmtools. Anyone with a clue, please drop me a line. (That of course includes you, Tom.)

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  • Didn't a version 2 just come out?
  • In asserting a license you are asserting permission from the copyright holders. But you don't know whether you have that permission. And if you don't, then you are putting people in potential violation of the rights of people who are copyright holders.

    In particular I happen to know that Tom Christiansen has been consistently vocal in his dislike of all things FSF, including the GPL. He takes extreme objection to the viral nature of the GPL, and even stronger objection to then calling the result "free".
    • Seconded. I do remember tchrist being very explicitly not a fan of FSF/GPL. Please do ask his permission before relicensing his code.
    • I agree that discussing it with Tom would have been the polite thing to do, but I don't think it's a legal requirement.

      I could understand the concern if the original were GPL'd - a key point of the GPL is that it doesn't allow relicensing.

      But, the Artistic license allows one to "place your modifications in the Public Domain or otherwise make them Freely Available" (Conditions 3.a), where Freely Available is defined in part as meaning "... that no fee is charged for the item itself, though there may be fees
      • Unfortunately the Artistic License is not compatible with the GPL. The Artistic License says in item 5 that, You may not charge a fee for this Package itself. This is not compatible with the GPL because the GPL allows that. Similarly if you look at item 3 of the Artistic License you'll find that with the Artistic License you are not allowed to make a modification and distribute it to a third party without making your modification public. The GPL allows that.

        Consult with a lawyer. But by my reading if s
        • Well, frankly, I can't imagine Tom making a stink over this. The clear distinction between the GPL and BSD-style licenses like the Artistic is the right to relicense vs. the lack of it. Pretty much by definition, the right to relicense includes licenses that the original author dislikes. That's the whole point of the BSD-style position, that someone who reuses the code should be able to choose their own license.

          It's like free speech in a way; it means that we all hear things said that we don't like or agree
  • According to the bottom sections of the PODs, Mark is the current copyright holder, so I would think he can license it however he sees fit.
  • Thanks to all of you who commented on this entry. Tom Christiansen has since said "I don't mind at all" to my dual-licensing of pmtools.

    If I had remembered that Tom did not like the GPL, I would have asked him before performing the re-licensing. (I think that people should be free to license their software however they want, but personally I want their software to work and work well if they want to license it to me without the sources.)