Legal soundness comes to open source distribution

Lawrence E. Rosen lrosen at
Fri Aug 2 17:31:36 UTC 2002

Concerning "use" licenses:

I understand your reluctance to use software that contains onerous use
restrictions.  If a license prohibits you from uttering the word
"pancreas," or any of the other silly restrictions noted in both Brian's
and Drew's emails below, then don't use the license or software it

Simply because a license is open source doesn't mean that we like the
license terms or are willing to license it under those terms.  It seems
to me *unreasonable* to require, through some vague OSD provision that
some of you want, that all open source licenses be *reasonable*.  After
all, some major players even consider the GPL to be unreasonable.


> -----Original Message-----
> From: M. Drew Streib [mailto:dtype at] 
> Sent: Friday, August 02, 2002 9:49 AM
> To: Brian Behlendorf
> Cc: Russell Nelson; license-discuss at
> Subject: Re: Legal soundness comes to open source distribution
> On Fri, Aug 02, 2002 at 09:44:23AM -0700, Brian Behlendorf wrote:
> > agreement potentially having some OSI-conformant-but-really-silly 
> > clauses, like "you may not utter the word 'pancreas' while 
> using our 
> > software". Even the BSD advertising clause is less of a potential 
> > annoyance than this could be.
> And does this use restriction trickle down to any derivatives 
> of the software? If I use pieces of 10 packages, each with 
> their own use restriction, am I going to end up having to use 
> the resultant software only between the hours of 10 and 2, in 
> the dark, without disclosing results, not uttering the word 
> "pancreas"...
> Use licenses scare me.
> -drew
> -- 
> M. Drew Streib <dtype at>
> Independent Rambler, Software/Standards/Freedom/Law -- 

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