[wp-hackers] Plugin License Excluding Spam

Austin Matzko if.website at gmail.com
Fri Oct 23 13:50:59 UTC 2009

On Fri, Oct 23, 2009 at 7:00 AM, Chuck Peters <cp at ccil.org> wrote:
> I would prefer to use the GPL3, but I need some CYA against those spaming
> criminals/jerks. Ignoring the issue of how effective a deterrent a software
> license would be to spamers, can I add restrictions against spaming
> (including specific damages fees) to one of the GPL compatible licenses?
> Which license would allow me to make the extra restrictions?

I'm not a lawyer, but I don't think you'll find such a license.  A
GPL-compatible license means that "you can combine code released under
the other license with code released under the GNU GPL in one larger
program." [1]  Therefore by definition a GPL-compatible license allows
the user to do whatever he or she wants to do with the code.

Instead, you might consider building in to your mail application
features that make spamming difficult or that require compliance with
anti-spam legislation, such as the CAN-SPAM act. [2]  For example, you
could throttle the amount of email that can be sent and you could
force users to follow CAN-SPAM requirements such as opt-out features
and a physical address.

[1] http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html#WhatDoesCompatMean
[2] http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/business/ecommerce/bus61.shtm

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