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Gimme credit, gimme fixes, gimme it ALL!

I've been exchanging emails with a developer who has integrated my old Relay-IRC chat client into his gaming web site. The guy doesn't understand the Mozilla Public License and I'm not sure I'm smart enough to explain it to him, but I tried just the same. Along the way, I came up with this.

Dave's dumbed-down explanation of open source licenses.

Here's what you're telling your downstream users when you pick one of the three levels of open source licenses:
  • Level 1: Gimme credit (APL, BSD, MIT)
    You can use, modify and redistribute my code in your product but give me credit (actually, modern BSD doesn't even require credit).
  • Level 2: Gimme fixes (MPL, CDDL, LGPL)
    You can use, modify and redistribute my code in your product but give me the source for any fixes you make to it.
  • Level 3: Gimme it ALL! (GPL)
    You can use, modify and redistribute my code in your product but give me your entire product's  source code.
What do you think; is it too dumbed-down to be useful?
Comments:

I think that the GPL is a little too simple. I would phrase it as Level 3: Gimme it ALL! Or never pass it on! You can, use modify and redistribute my code in your product but you need to distribute your code along with mine if you redistribute. But that is just my opinion

Posted by Jerven on January 06, 2006 at 08:35 AM EST #

Good point and it's not just your opinion. With GPL, you only have to "gimme it all" if you redistribute.

Posted by Dave Johnson on January 06, 2006 at 08:50 AM EST #

Reminds me of Aaron's license haiku.

Posted by Phil Ringnalda on January 10, 2006 at 10:52 PM EST #

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