ASP.Net MVC 3 Script license WTF?!

I had a few breaks between visits so I decided to re-write some of my old work in MVC 3 and Razor. I was going through all the included files in the Scripts folder when I came across Modernizr. I admit that I haven’t really looked into it that much since most of my client work involves CSS2 and XHTML, not CSS3 and HTML5. And the few times I needed HTML5 compatibility for <video> and such it was included as needed.

For the record, Modernizr is offered under a BSD/MIT license.

Imagine my surprise when, in Visual Web Developer Express 2010, I opened up modernizr-1.7.js to find this on top :

* Note: While Microsoft is not the author of this file, Microsoft is
* offering you a license subject to the terms of the Microsoft Software
* License Terms for Microsoft ASP.NET Model View Controller 3.
* Microsoft reserves all other rights. The notices below are provided
* for informational purposes only and are not the license terms under
* which Microsoft distributed this file.
* Modernizr v1.7
* Developed by:
* - Faruk Ates
* - Paul Irish
* Copyright (c) 2009-2011

After that, I looked into the rest of the included script files and I found the same in jQuery and jQuery UI as well and they are originally MIT/GPL . Now I’ve either been living under a rock (actually living “out-of-town” for a while) or this is a sudden inclusion not present in any pre-MVC3 projects because I don’t recall seeing anything like this before.

So Microsoft is re-licensing the original code because it is included with an MVC 3 project template? Can they even do that even though the files are included in their project template (what about consent form the original authors)? Is this only because it was included in the template or does it also apply when I use the original code instead of the provided copies as long as I’m still using it with other Microsoft provided script files?

I really don’t like seeing surprises like this because it’s not a technical problem; It’s a legalese problem and I really hate to have to choose code based on licenses. I’m now tempted to simply delete the entire contents of the Scripts folder and download everything from scratch.

Is blocking ads the same as stealing?

I submit that it is not, but Svetlana thinks otherwise.  I won’t address the Amazon issue, as it’s explained it pretty well and I agree on that stance.

Here’s some clarification…

Yes, you are a content creator, and that means you can receive compensation if you feel you should be rewarded for your work. However, you’re not “selling” your writings.  We do have a choice to not “purchase” your writings as you haven’t disabled public access to them.

Now, if you publish your work in PDF or locked HTML form and the only means to access it is through a subscription or individual sale of articles, then you are saying that you definitely want compensation and are, actually, “selling” your content. Then, if someone gets access to your work without compensating you, it is indeed “stealing”.

But until that happens, no one is “stealing” from you just because they’re blocking ads. Even your “about” page clearly notes, “Profy is a blog…” not a pay per view site. If, while browsing the site and viewing your ads, your visitors will generate revenue for you, then that’s a nice plus. However it isn’t a prerequisite for browsing your site as you have not configured your site for that.

“And advertising is supposed to be an equivalent of paying…”

Incorrect. Advertising is the advertiser paying you for views and clicks from a visitor (a solicitation) which the visitor is free to refuse.  If I’m walking down the street past an art exhibit (created by you) and while enjoying it someone hands me a flyer, I’m more that free to not look upon it or even accept it. The fact that web advertising is configured for a page load (or automatic view) is incidental.

For comparison… I’ve started selling T-Shirts, and if someone wants that particular content, then they have no choice but to purchase it.  It is a form of restricted access to content. But if someone wants to block images from RedBubble or links to the site, then they’re certainly free to do that. They’re not “stealing” from me. They’re just choosing to ignore extraneous objects for sale.

It’s a configuration enabled or installed on the visitors’ own computers for which I have no say and neither do you. Everyone should be free to browse however they please, and if the type of browser or browser setting disables access to ads, then that’s their call, not ours.

“Yet I think that this plugin (and multiple others intended for the same purpose) should be as illegal as the torrent one that Amazon was so quick to protest to last week.”

Welcome to China? How is infringing on the rights of the visitor any different than infringing the rights of the creator? You are arguing that computer users are not free to install whatever software they please and not use their computers however they please (provided they do nothing illegal). Choosing not to see your ad is not illegal. And making illegal any software intended for that purpose violates all our rights as netizens.

The road to hell, as they say, is paved with good intentions. This kind of draconian view on advertising will have greater (far worse) rammifications in the future.

The term “Patriot Act” comes to mind.

Warning: Personal opinion ;)

My writings are not for sale and I’ve placed most of it (since 1997) in the Public Domain. Obviously this isn’t acceptable for all content creators and many have locked them in copyrights etc… Mind you, under the Berne Convention, I don’t really have to assert my copyright claim. Just by creating the content, I’m automatically entitled to copyright. I have just chosen not to exercise that right for the vast majority of my writings.

My only wish is that someone will find my work useful for worthwhile and just purposes and will, in the end, benefit the community at large.


Forgot to mention this eariler…
Wikipedia runs on donations. If your content is truly useful, you will find a way to make money off of it without ads. Consider what they did at the Daily Kos. They asked ad blocking visitors to buy a subscription.

This software is n-tuple licensed

“Due to the number of libraries with varying licences used in the creation of this software, it is now licensed under all licenses known to ensure maximum compatibility and maximum seizure proclivity.”

So if I’m using the jQuery library, which is GPL/MIT licensed (depending on which is a better fit) and another piece of software (say Apache licensed), I can select the MIT license to distribute it with because they are more compatible.

Unless of course, I’m starting with a GPL licensed library first (e.g. ExtJS which is technically GPL v3), but I still won’t be able to distribute any modifications to the core under the ISC, because that may be too “free”.

But I won’t be able to distribute under the ISC because the it’s most certainly incompatible with the GPL (in all three thousand variations). 

Although, according to the ExtJS license explanation…

We want people building extensions, developer toolkits and frameworks, language packs and themes for Ext libraries to be able to publicly distribute them under less restrictive license terms despite the fact that version 3 of the GNU General Public License (the “GPL”) may require them to be licensed under the GPL.

This Exception does not grant usage or distribution of any Ext development library under a license other the GPL and cannot be applied to end-user applications. For applications, please refer to the Open Source License Exception for Applications

That’s great! I can at least license the rest of the software under the ISC, but leave the ExtJS portion under GPL.

But the list of execeptions…

Open Source License List

License name Version(s)/Copyright Date
Academic Free License 2.0
Apache Software License 2.0
Apple Public Source License 2.0
Artistic license From Perl 5.8.0
BSD license “July 22 1999”
Common Development and Distribution License (CDDL) 1.0
Common Public License 1.0
Eclipse Public License 1.0
Educational Community License 2.0
GNU General Public License (GPL) 2.0
GNU Library or “Lesser” General Public License (LGPL) 3.0
Jabber Open Source License 1.0
MIT License (As listed in file MIT-License.txt)
Mozilla Public License (MPL) 1.0/1.1
Open Software License 2.0
OpenSSL license (with original SSLeay license) “2003” (“1998”)
PHP License 3.0
Python license (CNRI Python License)
Python Software Foundation License 2.1.1
Sleepycat License “1999”
University of Illinois/NCSA Open Source License
W3C License “2001”
X11 License “2001”
Zlib/libpng License
Zope Public License 2.0

…Doesn’t include the ISC, which is a more permissive form of the 1999 BSD which is identical to the current FreeBSD license.

Which means…

I’ll have to build the core separately and license it under the ISC.
Build the control panels seperately and license it MIT.
Add the interface components (if ExtJS) and license those GPL v39773232.
And lastly, put “Everything else” in the Public Domain.

Does anyone still not get that multiple licenses on the same project only allow further fragmentation in the Open Source community?

I’ll leave you to sort this whole thing out. I’ll be busy vacuuming my brains off the floor after they melted out of my ears…


I think I finally understand what Shannon was talking about