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LinuxProgramming: The Open Compatibility License 1.0

Aug 18, 2000, 15:15 (4 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Lou Grinzo)

[ Thanks to Kevin Reichard for this link. ]

"My reason for creating the Open Compatibility License really boils down to the fact that none of the other licenses I checked said precisely what I wanted, in both the legal and extra-legal senses. Some are too political for my taste, some are too sparse, some too firm and some too soft, but none were just right. Specifically, my verInfo project has a much greater need than normal for compatibility between versions of its source code and versions of the persistent data it creates. (It provides you with a way to create and extract Windows-like version resources stored in Linux ELF-format programs.) I was concerned that if people got creative with my source code and used it to access the data created by an "official" copy of the program, or worse, used it to create nonstandard data that is then passed on to people running an official copy of the software, things could get uglier than COBOL written by an eight-year-old on a sugar high."

"For those of you who will skip the license and only go back to it if I say something interesting or inflammatory, here's the executive summary:

  • You can distribute the source code and binaries I produce, unaltered, with no further restrictions.
  • You can use my source and binaries in your program, unaltered, with no further restrictions.
  • If you distribute a modified version of my code, either standalone or as part of another program, you have to include my original source and your changes in a source code patch file.
  • There is no "viral" clause that requires your program to be open source if you statically or dynamically link my code into yours.
  • You can use my code in any project, open or closed, at any price you can charge for your software. I don't care about your licensing or business models; those details are your business."

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