POV-Ray : Newsgroups : povray.object-collection : License reassessment and other matters : Re: License reassessment and other matters Server Time
2 Jun 2023 10:15:03 EDT (-0400)
  Re: License reassessment and other matters  
From: Cousin Ricky
Date: 11 May 2021 02:14:17
Message: <609a20b9$1@news.povray.org>
On 2021-05-10 7:57 PM (-4), Bald Eagle wrote:
> Cousin Ricky <ric### [at] yahoocom> wrote:
>> The LGPL has been updated to version 3.0.  Should we switch to that as a
>> collection?  Should we leave it up to the author of the module?
> We can, assuming they are still around.   Is there some time period after which
> it becomes public domain or at least under the custodianship of the site
> maintainer?

IIRC, the death of the author, plus 70 years.  Out of the hands of us
contemporary mortals.

>> Another example is whether my suggestion to
>> avoid all-lowercase identifiers should be formalized.  The community
>> thinks it's a good idea, but there seems to be no formal mechanism to
>> adopt it.
> Perhaps a term for submission to the object collection can be agreement to edit
> code to align with compliance standards, changes in SDL syntax, and namespace
> considerations.

Such an agreement is already implied in the LGPL.  The question is what
formal mechanism should we use to make such changes, if we decide to.
More generally, how do we formalize the rules for this collection?

>> If a module is found to be out of compliance for its declared level, how
>> should the issue be rectified?  This is a likely situation, as
>> compliance requirements have changed since the Collection was inaugurated.
> I think that some of those modules are, at this date, and given the
> circumstances, the equivalent of abandoned property.  Sometimes there are
> mechanic's liens, salvage Rights, for certain things there's usually some legal
> requirement that an announcement/notification be published in a (local)
> newspaper for a certain period of time - but I have no idea what the global
> internet equivalent of that would be.

IANAL, but it doesn't seem to me that copyrighted works can be
"abandoned."  Does a writer or an artist lose the rights to their works
if they don't regularly issue new editions?  (Trademarks *can* be
declared abandoned, but we are not dealing with trademarks here.  Well,
except for AndroidRobot, but Karl and I are not the trademark holders,
so that's still no concern here.)

> I'd say just edit them and retain the original.  Post a notice that "If you have
> a complaint, then you can request that the edited version be taken down."
> I mean, it's an object, written in SDL, for a 25-year-old raytracer.  I would
> hope that they'd take some sort of pride that their object is even being used
> after the time elapsed since they've coded it.  Not to mention - why submit it
> to the object collection unless you wanted to distribute it freely for others to
> USE in the first place?

Again, this is why the LGPL was chosen for this collection.  The module
author must check some agreement boxes on the upload form, and the
upload engine scans the SDL to make sure that an LGPL license statement
is present.  In other words, the upload form will not allow you upload a
module unless you first agree that anyone and their grandmother have the
right to modify the code, within the terms of the LGPL.

Those terms do require modified files to prominently note the date of
the changes and who made them.  License violations obviously cannot be
detected by the upload engine, but a human administrator can resolve
such problems upon request.

> Anyway, those are my thoughts on the topic.
> I'm more of a Patrick Henry guy concerning licenses, anyway.

Licenses don't get much more Patrick Henry than the LGPL.  See for
yourself at https://www.gnu.org/licenses/old-licenses/lgpl-2.1.html

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