[tei-council] Fwd: kibitzing

Unsworth, John M unsworth at illinois.edu
Thu Sep 29 10:29:43 EDT 2011

Sharing an informed opinion contrary to my earlier advice on licensing....


Begin forwarded message:

> From: "C. M. Sperberg-McQueen" <cmsmcq at blackmesatech.com>
> Subject: kibitzing
> Date: September 29, 2011 3:40:16 AM CDT
> To: John Unsworth <unsworth at uiuc.edu>
> Cc: "C. M. Sperberg-McQueen" <cmsmcq at blackmesatech.com>
> John,
> please forgive this observation, which is impertinent in the historical sense:
> the issue is non of my business, and it's not my decision.  So delete this
> mail and ignore it, if you wish.
> but I've been chatting with Piotr Banski, here at this conference, and he
> tells me the TEI seems to moving toward a decision to make all TEI
> materials available under the LGPL.  this seems to me ill advised, not
> because i have any reservations about open source but because the LGPL
> is not formulated in a way that makes sense for human-readable documents
> as opposed to executable code.  i have occasionally had occasion to
> try to understand what the LGPL might mean, when applied to natural
> language texts, and my conclusion has invariably been that the idea
> is incoherent.  
> the practical effect in the particular cases i've been involved with is that 
> i have not used the material after all, because i could not bring myself 
> to use a license did not seem to apply either to the material being
> licensed or to any use I might make of it.  a license which does not 
> clearly convey permission to use the material in the intended way
> does not effectively perform the job of a license.  i believe i am not the 
> only reader of English who finds LGPL unclear when applied to natural 
> language documents (in my case, 'incomprehensible' would be
> nearer the mark).
> if you want TEI documentation to be available for reuse, please use
> a license conceived and formulated to apply to natural language
> texts.
> -- 
> ****************************************************************
> * C. M. Sperberg-McQueen, Black Mesa Technologies LLC
> * http://www.blackmesatech.com 
> * http://cmsmcq.com/mib                 
> * http://balisage.net
> ****************************************************************

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