[SciPy-User] Central File Exchange for SciPy

Matthew Brett matthew.brett@gmail....
Mon Nov 1 18:20:54 CDT 2010


Hi,

> Even if the snippet is licensed BSD you cannot simply copy and paste a
> code snippet. You have to include the license and copyright notice of
> the original author. So if people simply copy and paste code snippets
> without paying attention to the licensing it will end up being a mess
> anyway, because they are possibly violating licenses.

My point is, that the more accessible the interface, the more likely
it is that people will indeed copy and paste without taking note of
the license.  You can easily imagine the situation, you're working on
some problem, you come across the code, it's short, you paste it as a
function into your code to get something going.  A while later, you
find you've done some adaptations, you've written some supporting
functions, and, using the flexible and intuitive new interface, you
upload your snippet for other people to use.  By that time, you've
forgotten that the original was GPL.    Someone else sees your
function, perhaps notes that it is now (incorrectly) BSD, picks it up,
puts it into a larger code-base, and so on and so on.

Now, if the original code is BSD (and so is all the other code), you
are breaking the terms of the original license by not including the
original copyright notice, but you can easily fix that by - including
the copyright notices.  If the original code is GPL, you'll have a
hell of a time trying to work out what code that you and other people
wrote was in fact based on the original code, and you'd likely give up
and change your license to GPL.

Best,

Matthew


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