RealNetworks' RTSP Proxy License

Russell Nelson nelson at
Thu Sep 6 15:23:43 UTC 2001

Rob Lanphier writes:
 > 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.
 > Response:
 > This is very similar to the BSD license.  The jurisdiction for disputes is 
 > changed to the State of Washington, and there's a section on export 
 > restrictions.

Well, the permission is most similar to the BSD license, but the
license isn't similar to the BSD license.  For example, the BSD
license doesn't have an export clause, nor an indemnification clause.

 > This should be entirely compatible with all OSI-approved licenses, assuming 
 > that the BSD license (newer version) is compatible with all OSI-approved 
 > licenses.

FYI, RMS believes that since the GPL does not specify jurisdiction,
that any license which does is imposing extra constraints which is
incompatible with the GPL.

> (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.

As several people have pointed out, it's not clear who you think owns
a copyright on derivative works.  Are you imposing a requirement for
copyright assignment?  Can't do that since it's a secondary
requirement and the OSD disallows that.  I think you've got to change
this language to make it clear that you're asking for an agreement
that RN owns a copyright on the version of the software distributed
under this license.

 > RN is not obligated to provide maintenance or updates to you for the
 > Software.

This is not necessary since you disclaim all warranties in #3.

 > However, any maintenance or updates provided by RN shall be
 > covered by this Agreement.

I'm not sure this is necessary.  When you supply the updates, license
them under the RTSP license.

I'd remove section 2 entirely.

 > You hereby agree to defend, indemnify, and hold RN, its directors,
 > officers, employees and agents, harmless

I believe that defense and indemnification requirements are widely
violated in the industry.  That is, people will copy this software
with no intention to defend you or indemnify you.  I would take those
two requirements out.  But if you do, is there any difference between
#3 and #4?

 > Elliott, Suite 1000/Seattle, Washington 98121.  You are responsible for
 > complying with all trade regulations and laws both foreign and domestic.

We persuaded Intel to leave off the language that follows this, and I
expect we will succeed with you as well.  :-) As Jeffry Smith points
out, it discriminates, and that's verboten.  We approved somewhat
similar language in the APSL 1.0 and it was a mistake.

-russ nelson <sig at>
Crynwr sells support for free software  | PGPok | The most basic moral/ethical
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