Free Technology License – Draft 1


Free Technology License

Draft 1

Loosely based on GPLv3 and its discussion drafts

Prepared by Grigor Gatchev


1. Preamble

This is a free, copyleft license for technologies and other works.

When we speak of free technology, we are referring to freedom, not price. This License is designed to make sure that you have the freedom to use, study, modify and distribute a technology; and that you know you can do these things.

To protect your rights, we need to make requirements that forbid anyone to deny you these rights or to ask you to surrender the rights. These restrictions translate to certain responsibilities for you if you distribute a technology, or if you modify it. For example, if you distribute this technology, whether gratis or for a fee, you must give the recipients all the rights that ensure its freedom. You must make sure that they, too, receive or can get an usable technology description (see below for definitions of the terms used here). And you must show them these terms so they know their rights.

Technology donors that use this License protect your rights in two steps: 1) by either asserting the appropriate exclusive rights (see below for definition) over it, or making sure that no other party may assert them, and 2) by offering you this License which gives you legal permission to use, study, modify and/or distribute this technology.

This License clearly explains that there is no warranty for this free technology. If it is modified by someone else and passed on, this License ensures that recipients are told that what they have is not the original, so that any problems introduced by others will not reflect on the original authors’ reputations.

The precise terms and conditions for usage, studying, modification and distribution follow.

2. Definition of Terms

Throughout this License, the following terms are used in the meanings defined here. Definitions may be based on terms defined earlier in this part.

Technology: A method, comprising a set of means (conditions, actions, rules, other technologies etc.), that achieves a goal, or a set of goals.

Tecnology goal: A goal that is achieved by a given technology.

Technology product: The technology goal that is primary in certain context (typically the goal that is intended by using the technology).

Technology description: The information that describes the set of means a technology is consisting of, regardless of the form of expression.

Technology implementation: An implementation of a technology description, capable of creating a technology product.

Technology context (or simply context): The situation and sense in which a technology is considered (described, implemented, distributed etc).

Readily available context: A technology context that is achievable without unreasonable efforts by the ones interested in this technology.

Complete technology description: A technology description that in a readily available context contains all information, needed to produce a full technology implementation.

Understandable technology description: A technology description that in a readily available context is completely understandable without unreasonable efforts.

Usable technology description: A complete and understandable technology description.

This technology: The technology licensed under this copy of the License.

Work based on this technology: either this technology, or any derivative work: that is to say, a work containing this technology or a portion of it, either modified or unmodified.

Covered technology: A work distributed under this License.

Technology donor: The entity that places a technology under this License.

Technology user: Any entity that receives, and possibly implements this technology, and possibly produces technology product.

Exclusive rights: Any rights over a technology, established by laws (copyright, patents etc.), legal agreements etc., that limit in any way its freedom of usage, studying, modification and/or distribution.

You: Each licensee under this License.

3. Basic Permissions

3.1. All rights granted under this License are granted for the term of any exclusive rights over this technology, and are irrevocable provided the stated conditions are met.

3.2. This License explicitly affirms your unlimited permission:

3.2.1. to implement this technology, in unmodified or modified form, and to produce technology product using it

3.2.2. to study it

3.2.3. to modify it

3.2.4. to distribute it in unmodified or modified form, according to the terms below.

3.3. This License acknowledges your rights of “fair use” or other equivalent, as provided by the law.

4. Distributing This Technology

4.1. Distributing Unmodified Technology Descriptions

4.1.1. You may copy and distribute a description of this technology as you receive it, under this License, provided that you conspicuously and appropriately publish on each copy an appropriate notice of any exclusive rights over it; keep intact all license notices and notices of the absence of any warranty; give all recipients of this technology a copy of this License along with the technology description; and obey any additional terms present on parts of the technology description in accord with section “License Compatibility”.

4.2.2. Language translations, format conversions, medium changes and other changes that do not modify the informational contents of this technology description are not considered description modifications, but presentation modifications. However, if you make and distribute presentation modifications on this technology description, you must add to the description a prominent notice containing a track record of the presentation modifications you made.

4.2.3. In addition, the technology description being distributed:

4.2.3.1. Must be in a format that is publicly documented and unencumbered by exclusive rights in the context where you distribute it. If this is impossible, it must be in a format readily understandable in this context.

4.2.3.2. Must be in language(s), human or/and artificial, readily available in the context where you distribute it.

4.2.3.3. Must bear no limitations of any kind, imposed by you, or with your agreement (eg. encryption, obfuscation, copy protection, legal requirements, etc), on the freedoms granted by this License in 3.2.

4.2.4. The technology description may include portions which do not formally state this License as their license, but qualify under section “License Compatibility” for inclusion in a work under this License.

4.2.5. You may charge a fee for the physical act of transferring a copy, as long as the fee size will not substantially hamper the freedom of distribution (3.2.4.) of this technology description.

4.2.6. You may at your option offer warranty protection, for a fee or/and under any other conditions that do not contradict to this License, but only if you also distribute the technology description in the same form without this warranty protection and the related fees or/and conditions.

4.2.7. This License gives you no permission to license the work in any other way, but it does not invalidate such permission if you have separately received it.

4.2. Distributing Modified Technology Descriptions

4.2.1. Having modified a copy of this technology under the conditions of section “Basic Permissions”, thus forming a work based on this technology, you may copy and distribute such modifications or the work in the form of technology descriptions under the terms of section 4.1, provided that you also meet all of these conditions:

4.2.1.1. The modified work must carry prominent notices stating that you changed the work, and a track record of all changes.

4.2.1.2. You must license the entire modified work, as a whole, under this License to anyone who comes into possession of a copy, thus forming a covered technology. This License must apply, unmodified except as permitted by section “License Compatibility” below, to the whole of the work.

4.2.1.3. The covered technology description should be at least as usable (complete and understandable) as the copy you received and own, in entirety and in parts. Parts that you created, or modified extensively, must be usable, as defined above.

4.2.2. These requirements apply to the modified work as a whole. If identifiable sections of that work, added by you, are not derived from this technology, and can be reasonably considered independent and separate works in themselves, you may choose another license for those sections when you distribute them as separate works for use not in combination with a covered technology. But when you distribute the same sections for use in combination with a covered technology, so that they form together a technology, the whole of the combination that comprises the resulting technolgy must be licensed under this License, whose permissions for other licensees extend to the entire whole, and thus to every part of the whole. Sections created entirely by you may carry other terms as part of this combination in limited ways, described in section “License Compatibility”.

4.2.3. It is not the intent of this section to claim rights or contest your rights to work created entirely by you; rather, the intent is to exercise the right to control the distribution of derivative or collective works based on this technology.

4.2.4. A compilation of covered technology description with other separate and independent works, which are not by their nature extensions of the covered technology, is called an “aggregate”, if the exclusive rights resulting from the compilation are not used to limit the legal rights of the compilation’s users beyond what the individual works permit. Mere inclusion of covered technology description in an aggregate does not cause this License to apply to the other parts of the aggregate.

4.3. Distributing Technology Implementations

4.3.1. You may distribute implementation(s) of a covered technology in any way you like, provided that:

4.3.1.1. You include with the implementation a prominent notice stating that the technology being implemented is licensed under this License, and a copy of this License.

4.3.1.2. You also distribute, either together with the implementation or separately, or readily provide on demand, a description of the technology being implemented, according to the terms of Sections 4.1 and 4.2.

4.3.2. In contexts where the implementation of a covered technology is also an usable description of this technology, you may choose to not also distribute a technology description, as described in 4.3.1.2. However, in this case the distribution of this implementation must comply to the terms for distributing a covered technology description.

4.3.3. In contexts where a covered technology implementation is also a covered technology description, you may distribute it only according to the terms of Sections 4.1 and 4.2.

4.3.4. If a description of a covered technology is extracted from the implementation of a covered technology, it will be governed by this License, even if the implementation is licensed under different terms. By distributing an implementation of a covered technology, or extracting a technology description from such an implementation, you agree to this.

4.3.5. If, for any reason, a context is not eligible for, or prevented from receiving a description of a covered technology, you are forbidden by this License to distribute there an implementation of this covered technology. For example, if you stop distributing the description, you must also stop distributing the implementation. Or, if someone is not eligible to receive a description of the covered technology, you may not distribute an implementation to them.

4.4. Distributing Technology Product

4.4.1. If this License contains terms on the product distribution, as permitted by section “License Compatibility”, you must comply with them. Apart from this, you may distribute a product of a covered technology in any way you like.

4.4.2. In contexts where the product is also an implementation of a covered technology, its distribution must comply to the terms of the Section 4.3.

4.4.3. In contexts where the product is also a description of a covered technology, its distribution must comply to the terms of Sections 4.1 and 4.2.

5. License Compatibility

5.1. When you release a covered technology, you may include your own terms covering added parts for which you have, or can give, appropriate exclusive rights permissions, as long as those terms clearly permit all the activities that this License permits, or permit usage or relicensing under this License. Your terms may be written separately or may be this License plus additional written permission. If you so license your own added parts, those parts may be used separately under your terms, but the entire work remains under this License. Those who copy the work, or works based on it, must preserve your terms just as they must preserve this License, as long as any substantial portion of the parts they apply to are present.

5.2. Aside from additional permissions, your terms may add limited kinds of additional requirements on your added parts, as follows:

5.2.1.They may require the preservation of certain exclusive rights notices, other legal notices, and/or author attributions, and may require that the origin of the parts they cover not be misrepresented, and/or that altered versions of them be marked in the technology description, or marked there in specific reasonable ways, as different from the original version.

5.2.2. They may state a disclaimer of warranty and liability in terms different from those used in this License.

5.2.3. They may prohibit or limit the use for publicity purposes of specified names of contributors, and they may require that certain specified trademarks be used for publicity purposes only in the ways that are fair use under trademark law except with express permission.

5.2.4. If the distribution and/or use of this technology is restricted in certain countries by exclusive rights that you do not control, your terms may include an explicit geographical distribution limitation excluding those countries.

5.2.5. They may impose exclusive rights retaliation, which means permission for use of your added parts terminates or may be terminated, wholly or partially, under stated conditions, for users closely related to any party that has filed an exclusive rights lawsuit (i.e., a lawsuit alleging that some technology infringes an exclusive right). The conditions must limit retaliation to a subset of these two cases: 1. Lawsuits that lack the justification of retaliating against other exclusive rights lawsuits that lack such justification. 2. Lawsuits that target part of this work, or other covered technology that was elsewhere released together with the parts you added, the whole being under the terms used here for those parts.

5.2.6. They may require that, if you modify this technology, thus creating a work based on this technology, you must turn it into a covered technology too, and to distribute it according to 4.2.

5.2.7. They may require that, if you implement this technology, you must also distrubute the technology description, according to 4.1. or (if modified by you) to 4.2., even if you do not distribute the technology implementation.

5.3. No other additional conditions are permitted in your terms; therefore, no other conditions can be present on any work that uses this License. This License does not attempt to enforce your terms, or assert that they are valid or enforceable by you; it simply does not prohibit you from employing them.

5.4. When others modify the covered technology, if they modify your parts of it, they may release such parts of their versions under this License without additional permissions, by including notice to that effect, or by deleting the notice that gives specific permissions in addition to this License. Then any broader permissions granted by your terms which are not granted by this License will not apply to their modifications, or to the modified versions of your parts resulting from their modifications. However, the specific requirements of your terms will still apply to whatever was derived from your parts.

5.5. All additional licensing terms, included in the covered technology under this section must be listed, together, in a central list attached to the copy of this License, which is distributed with it.

6. Termination

6.1. You may not copy, distribute, modify or sublicense this technology except as expressly provided under this License. Any attempt otherwise to copy, distribute, modify or sublicense this technology is void, and automatically terminates your rights under this License at any time.

6.2. You may not take or participate in any actions that would result in discrimination between the technology users in regards with the permissions defined in 3.2., even if these actions by themselves are permitted by other parts of this License, and even if this discrimination is not caused by you. Doing so will automatically terminate your License.

6.3. Regardless of the reasons for the termination of your License, parties who have received copies, or rights, from you under this License will not have their licenses terminated so long as they remain in full compliance.

7. Not a Contract

7.1. You are not required to accept this License in order to receive a copy of this technology. However, nothing else grants you permission to use, study, modify or distribute a covered technology. These actions possibly infringe exclusive rights, protected by the law, if you do not accept this License. Therefore, by using in any way a covered technology, you indicate your acceptance of this License, and all its terms and conditions.

8. Automatic Licensing of Downstream Users

8.1. Each time you redistribute a covered technology, the recipient automatically receives a license from the original licensors, giving him the same rights as yours over that technology, subject to this License, including any additional terms introduced through section “License Compatibility”. You may not impose any further restrictions on the recipients’ exercise of the rights thus granted or affirmed, except (when modifying the work) in the limited ways permitted by section “License Compatibility”.

8.2. You are not responsible for enforcing compliance by third parties to this License.

9. Licensing of Exclusive Rights

9.1. When you distribute a covered technology, you grant a license for all exclusive rights over it to anyone that receives from you or any other entity the covered technology, or work(s) based on it, permitting, for any and all versions of the covered technology, all activities allowed or contemplated by this License. The license you grant is nonexclusive, royalty-free and worldwide, and covers all claims you control or have the right to sublicense, at the time you distribute the covered technology or in the future, that would be infringed or violated by the covered technology or any reasonably contemplated use of the covered technology.

10. No Surrender of Others Freedom

10.1. If conditions are imposed on you (whether by law, court order, agreement or otherwise) that contradict the conditions of this License, they do not excuse you from the conditions of this License. If you cannot use, study, modify and/or distribute a covered technology, in implementation and/or description, so as to satisfy simultaneously your obligations under this License and any other pertinent obligations, then as a consequence you may not use, study, modify and/or distribute it at all. For example, if a patent license would not permit royalty-free redistribution by all those who receive copies directly or indirectly through you, then the only way you could satisfy both it and this License would be to refrain entirely from distribution.

10.2. Limiting only some of the rights given to you by this License does not stop you from employing the rights that were not limited. For example, if you cannot distribute a covered technology according to this License, you may not distribute it at all; however, if you still can use, study and/or modify it according to this License, you may use, study and/or modify it.

10.3. It is not the purpose of this section to induce you to infringe any exclusive rights or to contest their legal validity. The sole purpose of this section is to protect the rights of the users of this technology. Most contributions to the technologies distributed under this License are made in reliance of consistent application of these conditions. It is up to the donor to decide if he or she is willing to distribute a technology through any other system, and a licensee cannot impose that choice.

11. Additional Information

11.1. Revised Versions of this License

11.1.1. Revised and/or new versions of this License may be published by its authors from time to time. Such new versions will be similar in spirit to the present version, but may differ in detail to address new problems or concerns.

11.1.2. Each version is given a distinguishing version number. If this technology specifies that a certain numbered version of this License “or any later version” applies to it, you have the option of following the terms and conditions either of that numbered version or of any later version published by the License authors. If this technology does not specify a version number of this License, you may choose any version ever published by this License authors.

11.2. Requesting Different Licensing Terms

11.2.1. If the conditions of this License do not satisfy you, you may contact the donor of this technology and ask for different licensing terms. It is only the donor of this technology who may decide what licensing terms are appropriate for it, and what are not.

12. No Warranty

12.1. There is no warranty for this technology, to the extent permitted by applicable law. Except when otherwise stated in writing the rights holders and/or other parties provide this technology “as is” without warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied, including, but not limited to, the implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose. The entire risk as to the quality and performance of this technology is with you. Should this technology prove ineffective, you assume all the costs following from this fact.

12.2. In no event unless required by applicable law or legally agreed to, will any rights holder, or any other party who may modify and/or redistribute this technology as permitted above, be liable to you for damages, including any general, special, incidental or consequential damages arising out of the use or inability to use this technology, even if such holder or other party has been advised of the possibility of such damages.

12.3. Unless specifically stated, this technology has not been tested for use in safety critical systems.

END OF TERMS AND CONDITIONS

Notes

Licensing Eligibility

A technology may be licensed under this License only if every one of its elements, regardless of how they are defined, is either licensed under this License, or licensed under a license that is usable with this License, or is not a subject of exclusive rights at all.

A license is deemed to be usable with this License if all of the following conditions are met:

1.It allows you all the freedoms that this License allows

2.It does not impose on you any conditions beyond these of this License.

3.It does not excuse you from the conditions of this License.

Method for Licensing

A technology is licensed under this License by embedding in its description a prominent legal statement that says so.

On the Definition of Terms:

A technology description may take different forms. For example, often a technology implementation is also its description (sometimes incomplete, or not readily understandable), for a more or less knowledgeable observer. The completeness and the understandability of a description depend on its form of presentation.

The boundaries between description, implementation and product are technology-specific. What is description for one technology may be implementation or product for another, etc. For some technologies, description, implementation and / or product may be the same thing.

Any technology description is valid, and thus potentially complete, only in certain underlying conditions. A description that is valid in any possible conditions would be unreasonably, maybe infinitely long, and thus will not be readily understandable. To avoid this problem, any distribution of a technology description is considered within the context it is made.

Theoretically, a technology description may be complete and/or understandable in a context that is not readily available. However, this would mean that it is not really free, which contradicts to the idea and purpose of this License. For this reason, a technology description is deemed here complete and/or understandable only in a readily available context.

Terms “work based on this technology” and “covered technology” differ in scope. Any work that is derived from, or includes this technology, is “work based on this technology”, even if not distributed. It becomes a “covered technology” when you license it for distribution, under this License.

On the Distribution of Technology Descriptions, Implementations and/or Product

A context here means the situation in which the technology implementation, description etc. is distributed. If a technology implementation or product is also a technology description, its distribution may belong to different contexts in regards with whether the distribution of the implementation (or the product), or the description is considered.

For example, the distribution of a covered technology implementation may be under any license, but the aspect of distribution of the informational content, that is the technology description, inherently contained in this implementation, should follow the rules in this License. That is, if anyone extracts a technology description from this implementation, this description will be governed by this License only, even if the implementation has been licensed under a different license.

On the Termination

If you violate this License, a rights holder may, at their opinion, notify you of the violation. However, they are not required to do so: your rights under this License are automatically terminated by your action of violating it.