asks: "Software licenses are, we keep saying, difficult to read. The public clicks OK without reading, either implicitly trusting or mistrusting us the software authors. There have been calls recently for companies to clean-up the license, to bullet, section, and colour their licenses, to remove THE UPPERCASE
and to draw charts and graphs to explain the license. Anyone who's had to read a 3-page document in a 3"x1" textbox knows how useful this would be. The GPL is one of the most important licenses in the world, and appears on thousands of products. Everything from windows programs to operating systems to people's artwork requires understanding and acceptance of the GNU GPL. Should we, the free software community, take the first step in this effort, and show the world what an easy-to-read license looks like? Would it be useful if long textual software licenses stood out like a sore thumb amongst the cool, pretty, and clear free licenses?"
Many may think the GPL Preamble to be clear enough, and this may be true. However there are a lot of people out there that would like to read the entire license
so that they know exactly what they may be getting into, before
they agree to it. This usually implies being able reading the actual license, and not just the preamble.
"Should we use such a comparison to show the public how they're being manipulated by terms in a EULA they don't read or understand, and encourage other license-writers to include the graphs and tables themselves, showing the public what a license really means?
What would be your ideal license, what poster would you draw to explain the GPL to a child, a PHB, or an artist? Would you stick with the text, or can you think of anything better?"
jamie interjects: The root of the problem is that "intellectual property" is a kludge of a natural human understanding of property rights. Useful, but a kludge. You have to invent many
to keep up the pretense that ideas are property. The GPL is a kludge (strict and precise licensing terms) implemented on top of a kludge (copyright law) and, in English or in code, there is no short and simple way to describe complex things.