This is a Harvey Birdman Rule violation cure.
On or about Wednesday, 17 April 2013, in San Francisco, in the late
afternoon, I had a short conversation with Mike Linksvayer concerning
copyleft-next that I believe triggered HBR.
As I recall: Mike asked me if I was still planning on drafting an
Affero-ish variant of copyleft-next. I said I was, and that I had
recently wondered whether my previous assumption (start with a
non-Affero copyleft-next and work on the Affero variant afterwards)
may have had things backwards.
The substantive obstacle I have been facing with copyleft-next (as I
think I explained on this list a couple of weeks ago) relates to the
'rule vs. standard' dichotomy; I believe a simpler alternative to the
GPL ought to (ideally) require greater ease of application and
interpretation. I do not know how to achieve this, and perhaps it is
not achievable. That is to say, the best we can hope for wrt making
copyleft-next "easier" (beyond the kind of structural and textual
clarity and simplicity already present in existing versions) is to
improve in small ways on some of the basic definitions in
copyleft-next and rely on the development of useful authoritative
interpretation. However, I'm still not ready to concede that.
Anyway, as I recall, I said to Mike that perhaps drafting an
Affero-ish variant of copyleft-next might produce insights into how to
draft what I've previously been thinking of as the vanilla version. I
have also previously and separately wondered whether an Affero-ish
copyleft-next ought to be MPL-like in its approach to the copyleft
boundary issue. This is all related to suggestions, made at times by
Michael Meeks and by Bradley Kuhn, that a "Lesser AGPL" may be useful.
Again, forgive me if this has been discussed before...
Has the group considered the pros and cons of changing section 10), para
b), to cover all copyleft-nexted works? So:
Your license grants under section 1 are automatically terminated if
b) initiate a patent infringement litigation claim (excluding
declaratory judgment actions, counterclaims, and cross-claims)
alleging that any work under this License directly or indirectly
infringes any patent.
In other words, if you sue someone over a patent in a copyleft-nexted
work, you lose rights to use all copyleft-nexted works. As
copyleft-nexted works become more common and more useful (say e.g. a
copyleft-nexted work was incorporated into Android) it would become more
and more of a bad idea to sue anyone for patent infringement relating to
such work. After all, in that case, the first thing you'd have to do is
replace all the company Android phones with iPhones...
The potential disadvantage of this, presumably, is the risk that
organizations will be less interested in writing or using
Was reviewing this for other reasons, and:
1. Sec. 2 should really not be section 2. Sections should be ordered
by importance/likelihood of use; current Sec. 2 is likely to be rarely
invoked or applicable, whereas Sec. 3 will likely feature in every
attempt at license interpretation. I'd probably move Sec. 2 to Sec. 8,
as the current Sec. 8 will eventually apply to all publications under
2. The "cease to apply" language is vague to the untutored reader.
Does that mean you can no longer Distribute? (Sec. 3 begins: "You may
Distribute...") I know what you're trying to do, but I don't see that
the language of Sec. 2 actually achieves your purpose. As a very rough
cut at a solution, I might go with "then the license granted in Sec. 1
is no longer subject to the conditions of Sec. 3-6", which is not
elegant but more effective than the current language.
3. Is it your opinion that the last sentence of Sec. 5 is actually
necessary? Or is it mere clarification?
4. Is "network" in "network location" (Sec. 6) redundant, given that
this is always a location for "providing network access" and hence
always a network location? (Two fewer words!)
5. Sec. 8: why do these conditions no longer apply only to Me? Isn't
this the case for everyone? Also, the conditions might better be said
to apply to the license grant, not to a person (though I can't think
of any way to say that that leaves the resulting language clear to
6. "Termination disqualifies You from receiving new licenses covering My Work,"
I see your purpose here but would urge another look at the language
when you have a chance - this is much less elegantly worded than most
of the license. Unfortunately I have no good suggestions.
7. Definition of "Corresponding Source"- in (ii), should "the Covered
Work" be "the Object Code form" or "the Covered Work in Object Code
form"? As it currently stands I'm not clear that it is clear which
Covered Work is being referred to here. Also, in (iii), seems like the
version number should somehow be included in the actual requirement,
not just the example. Finally, also in (iii), the "and installing" is
vague - whose installation are we referring to here? Mine? Yours? Some
abstract default installation? Might be more clear if (ii) also
included a reference to installation, but that might not be sufficient
to fully clarify the issue.