[fpc-pascal] FPC's documentation license?

Mark Morgan Lloyd markMLl.fpc-pascal at telemetry.co.uk
Sat Aug 8 13:02:29 CEST 2015

Jonas Maebe wrote:
> On 08 Aug 2015, at 10:04, Michael Van Canneyt <michael at freepascal.org> wrote:
>> I fundamentally do not believe in licenses. Not even free ones.
>> Hence I specify none for the docs.
> The problem with this is that if you don't specify a license, the default in copyright law is that no one is allowed to do anything with your work without explicit permission from you (other than reading the HTML version on the web site, as publishing it like that is considered an implicit permission to read it).
> You can always use a public domain or CC0 license if you don't want to impose any conditions on anyone.

Some sort of statement of ownership or permissive licence is desirable, 
in order to stop somebody appropriating documents etc., treating them as 
their own property, and slapping on strict redistribution notices to the 
detriment of the community.

As a particular example, the firmware of the classic HP RPN calculators 
doesn't embed a copyright message, with the result that it appears that 
it is now free for distribution as a part of e.g. 
http://nonpareil.brouhaha.com/ which is generally accepted by everybody 
as good clean fun. However somebody else has started making changes to 
the firmware and now sells calculators in potential competition with HP 
http://www.swissmicros.com/ which makes a lot of people unhappy.

If the project doesn't put a clear statement of ownership on everything, 
then there is a risk that somebody will put their own notice on things 
and claim that their files are the original and anything published by 
FPC/Lazarus is an unauthorised copy. Sorting things out would probably 
be messy and expensive.

Mark Morgan Lloyd
markMLl .AT. telemetry.co .DOT. uk

[Opinions above are the author's, not those of his employers or colleagues]

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