Restricting test results disclosure

Karsten M. Self kmself at
Fri Nov 30 04:32:26 UTC 2001

on Wed, Nov 28, 2001 at 10:37:51AM +0000, Andrew Josey (ajosey at wrote:
> Dear All,
> Recently we submitted and obtained approval of The Open Group Test Suite
> License (basically a varient on the Artistic license)
> At the time I included a question which I would still
> like some feedback on; would a  varient on that license with
> an extra stipulation regarding disclosure of test results be conforming?:
> 	``Disclosure of test results, except for the purposes of reporting
> 	a suspected problem in the execution of the tests, or claims
> 	of "passing the tests" are not permitted without the previous
> 	written consent of X/Open (The Open Group).''
> Our motivation for this is where we run a certification program for
> which we wish to protect the value in the mark, yet still allow the
> test suite to be made freely available.
> My thoughts are that this restriction does not meet the OSD guidelines
> in that it does not meet the OSD clause 6:
>   6. No Discrimination Against Fields of Endeavor
>   The license must not restrict anyone from making use of the program in a
>   specific field of endeavor. For example, it may not restrict the program
>   from being used in a business, or from being used for genetic research.
> I'd appreciate views. Thanks for your time.
> best regards
> Andrew

I think your self-criticism is accurate.

This situation arose some years back with a test suite promoted at the
time by Red Hat (I don't recall the context).  My suggestion at the time
remains:  brand the certified test reports.  Allow others to run tests,
but make clear that there is one and only "TOG Certified" test result,
and that this includes not just the technical aspects (the program), but
the personnel and certification of results by TOG.

This puts you in slightly less secure situation of allowing others to
run (and publish) results, but reserves to TOG the right to claim
"certified" results (with possible licensing of the mark to certified
testing centers).

The alternative otherwise is to be satisfied with having a "viewable
source" license, but not qualifying as OSI Open Source.


Karsten M. Self <kmself at>
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