Help - Glossary - L - License

Squeak comes with a license, which has the following text:

- License-text

As licenses for software go, this is 'a very liberal' license, which leaves nearly everything to Squeak's users. Unfortunately, there are some unclarities, especially for commercial developers and people who love the GNU-Public license. These unclarities are probably not really resolvable until and indeed if some US court has taken a clear position on open source. So far, this has not happened. For the time being, here is a recent mail by Alan Kay:

Intent of License

This seems to me a sensible position - and being neither an American citizen nor a lawyer, I dislike to dogmatize on what will or should be the eventual outcome of decisions in American courts of justice.

What I like about Alan Kay's statement (and he was the one who, together with Dan Ingalls, started both Smalltalk and Squeak) are especially these four points - and I quote:

1.The intent of the original Squeak group was to make Squeak available
in a manner that was as analogous to scientific knowledge as
possible. That is, to make it a moral obligation to share basic
advances in software engineering, while allowing ownership of
specific content, including the right to sell one's own content.

2. We had *no* intention that
organizations such as Apple or Disney or HP etc., or individuals,
should wind up with copyrights or any other form of ownership of any
of the shared code.

3. So our intent was that, once we had decided that code was fundamental
and to be shared, it would cease to be owned or copyrighted by Apple
or Disney and would instead belong to the world. To me that is what
the spirit of Squeak is about, and should be the spirit of free and
open source software.

4. The bottom line for me is as I've stated it before: the relevant law
is yet to be written and the current laws are yet to be tested. This
means that a litigous society such as the US can cause incredible
pernicious difficulties and delays over almost any issue, including
those that are legally well posed. I have seen this many times in IP
lawsuits over the years in which I was an expert witness. It's a
mess. So I like the "let sleeping dogs lie" principle for most

If you want the context of these quotations, read all of Intent of License. And get some legal sophistication by consulting Swift, on lawyers.

Glossary - L