MrNet has a non compliant opensource license

Karsten M. Self kmself at
Mon Oct 29 02:10:44 UTC 2001

on Sun, Oct 28, 2001 at 09:33:01AM +0000, Rui Miguel Seabra (rms at wrote:
> Hello,
> A portuguese company, MrNet, is advertising an "opensource" product,
> and flags a certain license [ ] as
> opensource.
> A quick inspection reveals that the first 8 of the 9 points of the
> open source definition are almost completely disregarded, and the last
> one is simply addressed by omission.
> I have posted in a public forum in portuguese my problems with that
> misleading license, but I think it should be addressed by someone from
> the opensource initiative as well.
> In my point of view, this license is intentionally misleading to lead
> the most gullible into thinking they're using opensource software.
> What can be done more to this effect?
> Best wishes, 
> rms

To whom it may concern:

I'm writing as a member of the general public regarding the licensing
agreement apparently covering your product MrNet, found at

As described above, the agreement refers to the software covered as
"Open Source".  While a formal certification of this phrase for US
trademark does not exist, it is similar to the service mark OSI Open
Source Certified Software®, as described at
Moreover, there is a general understanding in the technical community
that "Open Source" describes licensing terms corresponding to the Open
Source Definition or the Free Software Foundation's "Free Software"
definition (

While there is not legal obligation to stop using the term "Open Source"
to describe your software, it should be made clear that the term as
you're describing it has nothing to do with the OSD Open Source
Definition.  Confusion, or the appearance of distorting the true facts
of your licensing terms, would likely reflect poorly on your

I've copied this note to the OSI's license-discuss mailing list where
the situation was first brought to my attention, should you care to
follow up on the matter.

I am not a lawyer, I don't represent any particular interest in this
matter.  This email is strictly informational.


Karsten M. Self <kmself at>
 What part of "Gestalt" don't you understand?             Home of the brave                   Land of the free
   Free Dmitry! Boycott Adobe! Repeal the DMCA!
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