Open Source and the Chicken Dance

As if the world of open source licensing were not weird enough, a new license has been submitted to OSI for approval, the Chicken Dance License v0.1 (“CDL”).   It’s basically BSD, but binary only redistributions require:

  • For every thousand (1000) units distributed, at least half of the employees or persons affiliated with the product must listen to the “Der Ententanz” (AKA “The Chicken Dance”) as composed by Werner Thomas for no less than two (2) minutes
  • For every twenty-thousand (20000) units distributed, two (2) or more persons affiliated with the entity must be recorded performing the full Chicken Dance, in an original video at the entity’s own expense, and a video encoded in OGG Theora format, at least  three (3) minutes in length, must be submitted to <OWNER>, provided <OWNER>’s contact information.  The dance must be based upon the instructions on  how to do the Chicken Dance that you should have received with this software. If you have not received instructions on how to do the Chicken Dance, then the dance must be chicken-like in nature.
  • Any employee or person affiliated with the product must be prohibited from saying the word “plinth” in public at all times, as long as distribution of the product continues.

I don’t know what the author has against a plinth, except maybe that it contains insufficient vowels.

You probably think you don’t know the chicken dance song, but you do.  You may not know the dance, which is possibly the only one sillier than the Macarena.

And no, I did not make this up.   The Register reported this, and it’s not April 1 yet.  I do admire the fine points of drafting here, though.  Anyone who uses a phrase like “no less than” in a provision about chicken dances can’t be all bad. 

Author: heatherjmeeker

Technology licensing lawyer, drummer