LICENSE: base-files and use of CC0 - public domain

David Sastre Medina
Fri Oct 26 19:37:00 GMT 2012

On Fri, Oct 26, 2012 at 12:26:59PM -0600, Warren Young wrote:
> On 10/25/2012 11:49 AM, Jari Aalto wrote:
> >
> >Neither OSI, nor FSF recommend use of "public domain" for Open Source
> >software.
> I think you should total up the list of recommendations the FSF has
> made over the years, and decide if you really want to be constrained
> use only things that make FSF happy.
> >FSF recommends use of existing licences (GNU licences, Apache
> >...), likewise OSI:
> >
> >     "We recommend that you always apply an approved Open Source license to
> >     software you are releasing, rather than try to
> >     waive copyright [= put into public domain] altogether."
> >
> CC0 is a bit more complicated than pure public domain.
> >         ... This “Give-It-Away” license provides no protection for anyone
> >         if the donated software causes harm (...) one [cannot] escape a
> >         lawsuit just because his gift was only accidentally harmful.
> CC0 contains a warranty disclaimer.  (§4.b.)
> >If "utmost free" were the initial intention -- What was wrong with the
> >BSD[1] or MIT licenses, which are desinged to be Open Source software
> >licenses?
> My point is that this is basically what you get, when you live
> somewhere that doesn't allow public domain copyright disclaimer.

When I first decided to use CC0, I admitedly didn't do too much of a
research. I concur with Corinna that the contents of the base-files package is
simple enough not to even worry about licensing, but as concern about
this reached the list[1], I simply looked for something a little bit more serious
than the beer-ware[2] license and used it: I found the CC0 to be FSF[3] approved,
and I thought it was an authoritative enough source of information.

I really don't mind to move to any of BSD-2 or GPLv3 if needed, but I
definitely don't want to see my name in each and every one of the
files, because I'm only the mantainer here, and most of the code was
already there or has been contributed by others, so before I merge
those kindly sent pull-requests, I'd like to know if the copyright attribution 
in the headers could reference the cygwin project, something like:

( Copyright (c) 2010-2012 The cygwin project <> )

That would be both fair and accurate. Thanks for any pointers.

[1] Sorry, didn't find it in the archives, look for it around October 2011
Primary key fingerprint: AD8F BDC0 5A2C FD5F A179  60E7 F79B AB04 5299 EC56
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