For Approval: Open Source Software Alliance License
Lawrence E. Rosen
lrosen at rosenlaw.com
Sun Sep 28 01:52:07 UTC 2003
I'm sorry that I'm coming in late to this conversation but I've been busy.
I'm concerned about the following section of the proposed license:
4. Redistributions of source code must not be used in conjunction
with any software license that requires disclosure of source
code (ex: the GNU Public License, hereafter known as the GPL).
Licenses seem sometimes to be used as weapons rather than to foster freely
reusable code. In this case, the author has made clear, he wants to allow
his software to be used with proprietary derivative works but not with the
GPL. It is, I guess, the anti-GPL license.
In that sense, I think, it violates the OSD.
We have long agreed that a license can impose a reciprocity condition, for
example, "you may distribute copies of your derivative works to the public
as long as they are licensed under this same license." That's in essence
what the GPL, Mozilla, IBM, CPL, and OSL licenses require.
This is not the same as a provision that reads "you may distribute copies of
your derivative works to the public as long as you don't use that other type
On 6/30/2003 Brian Behlendorf asked this list to consider a recent Microsoft
license provision that read as follows:
[You agree] [t]hat you are not allowed to combine or distribute the
Software with other software that is licensed under terms that seek to
require that the Software (or any intellectual property in it) be
provided in source code form, licensed to others to allow the creation
or distribution of derivative works, or distributed without charge.
Once again, this is a license that says "don't use that license" rather than
"do use this license." The former wording seems like discrimination to me
and the latter like any reciprocal license we've approved since the
Is that a distinction without a difference? Or should we assert that
licenses of the form "don't use that license" are contrary to the OSD
because they discriminate?
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Sean Chittenden [mailto:sean at chittenden.org]
> Sent: Wednesday, September 24, 2003 3:06 PM
> To: license-discuss at opensource.org
> Subject: For Approval: Open Source Software Alliance License
> HTML version: http://people.FreeBSD.org/~seanc/ossal/ossal.html
> TXT version: http://people.FreeBSD.org/~seanc/ossal/ossal.txt
> The OSSAL is the most similar to the BSD license. This is a
> derivative license in that it is modeled after the BSD
> license, however it prevents code or objects from being used
> by GPL'ed bits. The reason for these addions being that as a
> language author, I don't want any of the modules written by
> the open source community to be GPL'ed as GPL'ed modules are
> of no use to businesses and the language is centered around
> businesses that use and contribute open source code.
> The OSSAL does not prevent OSSAL bits from being distributed
> next to non-OSSAL or GPL'ed bits. It does prevent linking
> with GPL'ed bits, but OSSAL is just as restrictive as the GPL
> in that way... except the OSSAL allows linking to software
> that is artisticly licensed, licensed under the Apache
> license, MIT License, BSD License, etc.
> I've attached the full version text version of the license as
> found at http://people.FreeBSD.org/~seanc/ossal/ossal.txt.
> Here is the analysis:
> ### BEGIN LICENSE TEMPLATE ###
> All of the documentation and software included in the
> <RELEASE> and
> <SOFTWARE> Releases is copyrighted by <AUTHOR>.
> Copyright <YEARS>
> <AUTHOR>. All rights reserved.
> Redistribution and use in source and binary forms, with or without
> modification, are permitted provided that the following
> conditions are
> 1. Redistributions of source code must retain the above copyright
> notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer.
> 2. Redistributions in binary form must reproduce the
> above copyright
> notice, this list of conditions and the following
> disclaimer in the
> documentation and/or other materials provided with the
> Discussion: These are the same as the 2 and 3 clause license
> for the BSD license.
> 3. All advertising materials mentioning features or use
> of this software
> should, in good faith, display the following acknowledgment:
> This product includes software developed by the <AUTHOR>
> and its contributors.
> Discussion: Non-legally binding clause that asks for
> recognition, but isn't required.
> 4. Redistributions of source code may not be used in conjunction
> with any software license that requires disclosure of source
> code (ex: the GNU Public License, hereafter known as the GPL).
> 5. Redistributions of source code in any non-textual form (i.e.
> binary or object form, etc.) may not be linked to
> software that is
> released with a license that requires disclosure of source code
> (ex: the GPL).
> Discussion: These two clauses prevent OSSAL code from being
> used in conjunction with GPL code, but don't prevent
> distribution along side of GPL bits.
> THIS SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED BY <AUTHOR> AND CONTRIBUTORS ``AS IS''
> AND ANY EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED
> TO, THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A
> PARTICULAR PURPOSE ARE DISCLAIMED. IN NO EVENT SHALL <AUTHOR> OR
> CONTRIBUTORS BE LIABLE FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL,
> SPECIAL, EXEMPLARY, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES (INCLUDING, BUT NOT
> LIMITED TO, PROCUREMENT OF SUBSTITUTE GOODS OR SERVICES; LOSS OF
> USE, DATA, OR PROFITS; OR BUSINESS INTERRUPTION) HOWEVER CAUSED
> AND ON ANY THEORY OF LIABILITY, WHETHER IN CONTRACT, STRICT
> LIABILITY, OR TORT (INCLUDING NEGLIGENCE OR OTHERWISE) ARISING IN
> ANY WAY OUT OF THE USE OF THIS SOFTWARE, EVEN IF ADVISED OF THE
> POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGE.
> Discussion: The holdsharmless clause as provided by the BSD
> license. ### END TEMPLATE ###
> Sean Chittenden
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