[Fsf-friends] SMALL GRANTS: Need resources to write Free Software?

Mahesh T Pai paivakil@vsnl.net
Thu, 10 Oct 2002 19:28:36 +0530

Frederick Noronha wrote:

 > Which version would you see as best?

Using older _versions_ of a license can create problems.  New versions
are created to plug loop holes, or to avoid problems which were not
foreseen with earlier versions.  Moreover, it is common for most
'swatantra' licenses to permit users / licencees to adopt later versions*.

 > ... The intention would be to keep the software as Free as
 > possible.

Then, my vote is for GPL.

Most of OSI certified licenses do measure up to the GPL in terms of
'swatantrata' element in so far as modifications and redistribution is 
concerned.  But, they do not preserve the 'greater public good' part 
of the GPL.  At least some OSI approved licenses do not preserve the 
right of access to modifications made by third parties. This can 
result in loss of freedom. The BSD and MIT licenses are two best 
examples.  Such licenses actually result in loss of 'swatantrata'
aspect of the GPL - the best example is kerberos (I am not sure of the

For the purpose of the grant, you can consider a statement something
like this:-
1. The contributions should be licensed under the GNU/GPL.
2. Copyright in the contributions will vest in the author.
3. SARAI will consider use of other OSI approved licenses, if the
grantee/s is/are able to point out special and compelling reasons for 
using a different license.

Mahesh T Pai.

* digression:- is it not better that we Indians use 'swatantra'to mean
'free as in freedom'?  We need to adopt a term to be uniformly used in 
Indian languages for 'free as in beer'.  Malayalam has 'soujanyam'. 
Any suggestions from other languages? This rather important, for 
ultimately, we will need to translate the GPL into Indian languages,
for better understanding amongst the public, if for nothing else.  It
is not better that *if possible*, we use uniform terminology in all
Indian Languages?