This license is (C) Copyright 2002 Lameter Corporation, Newark, CA 94560, United States of America, http://lameter.com christoph@u-OS.org
Distribution of exact copies of this license agreement is allowed and must be redistributed with all modifications and enhancements to this product.
The text of section 1 might be changed if this license agreement is to be applied by a copyright holder for another software product.
THIS SOFTWARE MIGHT BE OBTAINED UNDER DIFFERENT LICENSING AGREEMENTS.
Please contact the license holder(s) for details.
Note that this license is in its early stages of formulation. It will most likely be refined in the next weeks. Ultimately a non-profit should be the license holder and not a commercial entity. It might take awhile until the necessary organization and funds are available to start such a non-profit organization. Comments are appreciated. Please respond to christoph@u-OS.org.
The aim of this license is not to restrict your rights. 4F Licensing was developed to preserve the four freedoms when using a software product:
4F Licensing protects your and other persons rights to make use of these freedoms. Redistribution is only allowed if the person you are distributing to will also have the Four Freedoms. A 4F License becomes invalid if those rights are not given. And this license is the only legal justification for the use, modification and deployment of this software.
We have chosen not to use the typical terms Free Software or Open Source Software because both terms have led to a wrong understanding of this type of licensing in the past. The concern of free or open source licensing is not to get the software for free (meaning one does not have to pay any money for it) but to preserve the Four Freedoms. The term Free Software typically leads to that misunderstanding. The term Open Source often seems to avoid mentioning the Four Freedoms that need to be preserved. It also gives rise to the misunderstanding that the access and ability to view the source code is sufficient.
We have chosen the term 4F (long Four Freedoms) because it does not have the baggage of the other terms and clearly expresses the purpose of Free or Open Source Licenses.
4F Licensing allows different grades of protection of these rights. If a 4F licensed product is combined with other products the four freedoms might no longer be applicable to the whole. 4F licensing defines CLASSES of protection. A later class requires that the requirements of all earlier classes be fulfilled too. The following classes exist:
|A||No protection. The sourcecode might be modified and redistributed under other licenses at will. 4F Class A licenses are similar to BSD licensed code. The only provision is that credit is given to the authors of the code in the final product.|
|B||Protection for the software product itself. The Four Freedoms must be preserved for all modifications of the source code that are distributed. The product might be combined (f.e. linked into) other software that is licensed differently. The combination of other software plus the software product might not preserve the Four Freedoms. Class B licensing is similar to the protection offered by the LGPL.|
|C||Program (Executable) protection. The Four Freedoms must be preserved for all binaries generated. If a piece of software is used for the generation of a binary then all sourcecode that was used to generate the binary and all shared objects loaded must also be made available under the Four Freedoms. If this is not possible then the combination or the production of the binary is not permitted under this license.|
|D||Media / Site protection.. The software might not be distributed on media combined with software not preserving the four freedoms. This means that publication on a CD that contains non 4F compliant software is not permitted. The medium and all content must be sharable under the Four Freedoms principle. The same is true for publication of ftp sites. Publication on ftp sites that also distribute non 4F compliant software is not permitted. CDs and ftp site contents must be freely redistributable and modifiable in order to satisfy Class D.|
|E||System protection.. The Four Freedoms must be preserved for all software installed under the same Operating System and all software used to install the system and any software on it. The license becomes invalid if software is present under the installation with the same operating system that contain software not conformant to 4F licensing. Specifically this prohibits installation of proprietary software (such as Microsoft Software) under the same installed operating system as a Class E product.|
|F||Organizational protection. The software might not be used by an organization/group/corporation that is combining the use of the software so licensed with software that does not provide the Four Freedoms.|
|G||Protection for program interaction. The software must be deployed in such a way that it does not interact (transfer data to/from, use documents formatted by) non 4F compliant software.|
4F licensing aims to be conforming to the DFSG (Debian Free Software Guidelines http://www.debian.org), the OSI criteria for free software licenses (Open Source Initiative see http://www.opensource.org) and the free software criteria of the Free Software Foundation (The GNU project see http://www.gnu.org). Only Classes A-C are compliant with the criteria of the those organizations since protection against loss of the Four Freedoms by aggregation is only permitted for binaries.
The software is provided and licensed free of charge therefore there is no warranty for the software to the extent permitted by applicable law.
This license is void in legal context where a law makes the copyright holder or any contributor provide a warranty for this software that was provided free of charge.
There is no warranty unless otherwise stated in writing by the copyright holders. The software is provides "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 of using this software is with the user of this program. Should this software fail then the user will assume the cost of all necessary services, repairs, corrections or whatever else is necessary to remedy the situation.
In no event unless required by applicable law or agree to in writing will any copyright holder, or any other party who may have modified and/or redistributed the software under the regulations of this license be liable to you for damages including any general, special, incidental or consequential damages arising out of the use or inability to use the software (including but not limited to loss of data or data being rendered inaccurate or losses sustained by the user or third parties or a failure of the software to operate with any other software), even if such holder or other party has been advised of the possibility of such damages.
This license is void if the above limitations are rendered ineffective by law or judicial decision.