Approval Requested for AFL 1.2 and OSL 1.1

Lawrence E. Rosen lrosen at
Thu Nov 7 20:02:11 UTC 2002

From: Larry Rosen
> > You are obligated under two licenses, one from the licensor 
> in Taiwan 
> > and the other from the licensor in France.  Nothing unusual 
> here with 
> > respect to the OSL.
> From: David Woolley [mailto:david at] 
> Two licenses with different effective terms; there is not one 
> OSL, but one for each of the 100+ countries in the world.  It 
> means you need to 
> know whose bit of the code you are actually modifying, 
> something that, in real life, is likely to be difficult to 
> do, unless the licence requires that derivative works only be 
> distributed as patches to the virgin code.

Huh?  I meant two instantiations of the same license.  What makes you
think the terms of the OSL are different, or will be interpreted
differently, in those other countries?  It is true that the OSL -- and
all other licenses -- must be interpreted in light of the laws of the
jurisdiction in which the case is brought.  Will every court interpret
every license the same way?  Of course not.  

Even the GPL hasn't been tested in any jurisdiction.  While the Berne
Convention is adopted almost everywhere, there are local differences
with respect even to copyright law.  For example, some here have argued
that the term "derivative work" means different things in different
jurisdictions, and that term is all over the GPL too.

What's the specific problem with enforceability of the OSL in Taiwan?
France?  UK?

Please don't try to make the lives of open source licensors and
licensees seem any more difficult than it needs to be.  In most places
around the world where it matters, open source software can be licensed

I challenge everyone to identify any part of the OSL (or AFL) that is
illegal in any country or will be enforced locally in a way different
from the consensus expectations of the open source community.  If we've
got problems with those licenses, help me fix them, or at least let's
warn people not to license software from "The State of Unfreedonia."

/Larry Rosen

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