RealNetworks' RTSP Proxy License

Jeffry Smith smith at
Wed Sep 5 22:09:25 UTC 2001

Rob Lanphier said:
>Hi all,
>I'd like to submit the RealNetworks' RTSP Proxy license for OSI 
>certification.  The text of the license can be found at the URL below as 
>well as in section B of this email:
>A.  Answers to process questions
>Below are the responses to the first four points in the certification 
>process (steps 5-8 do not seem to require response):
>Text of process included for convenience:
>1.Put the license on a web page in HTML form. We will convert it
>   into the same style as the existing approved licenses. You can
>   help us by publishing it in that style yourself to save us the
>   conversion step.
>Done.  It's not in your template, but the license itself is between <pre> 
>tags, so it'll go into whatever template you want pretty easily.
>2.Tell us which existing OSI-approved license is most similar to
>   your license. Explain why that license will not suffice for your
>   needs. If your proposed license is derived from a license we
>   have already approved, describe exactly what you have
>   changed. This document is not part of the license; it is solely to
>   help the board understand and review your license.
>This is very similar to the BSD license.  The jurisdiction for disputes 
>changed to the State of Washington, and there's a section on export 

Problem right there - you restrict the usage:
<<You acknowledge that none of the Software or underlying information or
technology may be downloaded or otherwise exported or re-exported (i) into
(or to a national or resident of) Cuba, Iraq, Libya, Sudan, North Korea,
Iran, Syria or any other country subject to a U.S. embargo; or (ii) to
anyone on the U.S. Treasury Department's list of Specially Designated
Nationals or the U.S. Commerce Department's Denied Parties List or Entity
List.  By using the Software you are agreeing to the foregoing and are
representing and warranting that (i) no U.S. federal agency has suspended,
revoked, or denied you export privileges, (ii) you are not located in or
under the control of a national or resident of any such country or on any
such list, and (iii) you will not export or re-export the Software to any
prohibited county, or to any prohibited person, entity, or end-user as
specified by U.S. export controls.

>From the OSI Definition:
<<5. No Discrimination Against Persons or Groups

The license must not discriminate against any person or group of persons.

Rationale: In order to get the maximum benefit from the process, the 
maximum diversity of persons and groups should be equally eligible to 
contribute to open sources. Therefore we forbid any open-source license 
from locking anybody out of the process.

Some countries, including the United States, have export restrictions for 
certain types of software. An OSD-conformant license may warn licensees of 
applicable restrictions and remind them that they are obliged to obey the 
law; however, it may not incorporate such restrictions itself.

You specifically forbid reexport.  What if the rules change?  Also, what 
if I'm in France?  Am I still bound by the rules?

Recommendation:  Cut the paragraph off after: "You are responsible for
complying with all trade regulations and laws both foreign and domestic."

Note:  I don't have a say in this, just a member of the discuss list.

>3.Explain how software distributed under your license can be
>   used in conjunction with software distributed under other open
>   source licenses. Which license do you think will take
>   precedence for derivative or combined works? Is there any
>   software license that is entirely incompatible with your
>   proposed license?.
>This should be entirely compatible with all OSI-approved licenses, 
>that the BSD license (newer version) is compatible with all OSI-approved 

Also, I'm not certain about:
"(b) You acknowledge and agree that RN is and shall be the exclusive owner
of all right, title and interest, including copyright, in the Software."

Define Software - your original Distro (which you could protect by simply 
declaring "Copyright XXXX RealNetwork"), or all derivative works?


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