Ken Adams has a great discussion going on over at his blog, AdamsDrafting on license grant language. Ken’s general concern is that a license grant is overly complex language, redudant at best and confusing at worst. This follows his general feelings regarding contract language (that we need to simplify and get rid of anachronisms). And, generally speaking, I support his work to make this happen.
In this case, and as supported by most of the commenters, I think Ken’s admitted lack of knowledge in the subject matter of licensing is hurting his assessment. Software licensing folks don’t like wordy contracts any more than anyone else. We’d love to get rid of unnecessary phrases or redundancies.
But I’ve actually seen a license terminated at the will of the vendor as a result of a lack of the word “irrevocable”. And I’ve seen one restricted because of the lack of the word “world-wide”. So for me, simple language gives way to extra descriptiveness in the license grant just from a risk management perspective.