Re: SRFI 170 & 205 and scsh licensing hga@xxxxxx 30 Jul 2020 13:51 UTC

> From: Lassi Kortela <>
> Date: Thursday, July 30, 2020 8:29 AM
>> Which brings up an issue of licensing for both srfi-170.html and
>> srfi-205.html.  How does it make sense for the former to start with a
>> MIT license, followed by an updated to include us scsh BSD license?  How
>> can anyone know what the first license applies to  since it's a scsh
>> "derivative work <>", not
>> an /ab initio/ product of our writings.
>> Proposal: with the addition of the above, change the licence in
>> srfi-205.html, BSD is open enough, drop the MIT license in srfi-170.html.
> Arthur is the authority on this, but as far as I know:
> Every SRFI document ever published has been under the MIT License, with
> no exceptions; that license is obligated by the SRFI process.

I'm suggesting that the process be rethought, because the MIT license
is meaningless at best for a derivative work like srfi-170.html, and
soon srfi-205.html.  I'm not sure if any harm can come from it's
invalid assertion, given the below test that's before SRFI 170's BSD
license, but I can't see any good coming from it.

> This SRFI is derived from the documentation for
> <a href="">scsh</a>, whose copyright notice, from
> the <code>COPYING</code> file, is reprinted here:

That needs a tweak because we added my and John's name to the list of

> [...]
> Copyright (c) 2001-2003 by Michael Sperber.
> Copyright (c) 2019-2020 by John Cowan and Harold Ancell.

> Presumably the SRFI 170 document contains enough text from the scsh
> manual that the extra BSD notice is needed to cover those parts.

In US copyright law, and I assume in general now that it's harmonized
with the Berne Convention, it's a derivative work

> Sample implementations don't have to be under the MIT license if code is
> copied from an existing source. Do we have substantial code copied from
> scsh? If so, the sample implementation's source tree needs a copy of the
> BSD license....

Yes; as it turns out, there's even more code from Chibi Scheme, and
both use the same version of the BSD license, so we just added to the
list of authors.

> IMHO it would be useful to put a SPDX-License-Identifier at the top of
> each source file in the sample implementation. That way it's clear which
> license applies where....

I'll look into this.

- Harold