For Approval: German Free Software License
Christiane.Dusch at mwf.nrw.de
Tue Nov 23 15:38:52 UTC 2004
> For Approval:
> Dear Members of the license-discuss-list,
> this Email was prepared in satisfaction of OSI Certification Process
> Step 4. for OSI certification of the German Free Software License
> (Deutsche Freie Software Lizenz, D-FSL). The license was written for
> the Ministry of Science and Research of the State of North-Rhine
> Westphalia, Germany.
> The license combines elements known from other Open Source Licenses.
> It is a copyleft license, but the copyleft clause (section 3) is
> more liberal than section 2 b) GPL. It contains an advertising
> clause for the author (or other right holder) of the initial program
> components (section 2 para 2 number 3).
> 4.a. 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
> license-discuss understand and review your license.
> The D-FSL is a Copyleft-License. Most similar to the license is the
> Mozilla Public License (MPL); Elements of the GNU General Public
> were also incorporated. None of the existing Open Source Licenses
> suffice for purposes of the Ministry of Science and Research of the
> State of North-Rhine Westphalia and the Max-Planck- the for the
> following reasons:
> i. U.S.-based Open Source Licenses contain provisions that are
> invalid under German and European Copyright, Contract and Consumer
> Protection law (e.g. clauses concerning liability and warranty).
> State authority cannot use invalid contract terms for licensing its
> programs. The German Free Software License therefore takes into
> account the spcial requirements of German and European Law.
> ii. The licensing policies of the Ministry of Science and Research
> and of the Max-Planck-Society require, that the respective bodies
> can control the further development of the license terms, their
> products are licensed under. The German Free Software License has
> invented a new solution for this problem. The license can only be
> changed if the license board decides to change the license. The
> license board will be composed by representatives of the main users
> of the license (the Ministry, the Max-Planck-Society etc.). The
> board is open for participation of other users. Existing Open Source
> Licenses do not offer this possibility.
> 4.b. 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?
> Although the special requirements of the German and European Law had
> to be met, and licensing policies of the Ministry of Science and
> Research and of the Max-Planck-Society had to be taken into account,
> the license assures, that combination of software of different
> sources is possible, to make Open Source Development most effective:
> The license does not hinder a licensee to create combinations of
> programs that are licensed under the terms of this license with code
> that is licensed under the GPL. If the combination is to be
> considered a derived work under section 2 b) GPL, than the whole
> combination must be used exclusively under the terms of the GPL (see
> section 3 para 3 D-FSL). The German Free Software License is
> construed as the "weaker" license to be compatible with the GPL.
> Other Open Source Licenses do not follow such guidelines.
> With regard to Mozilla Public License, a conflict of the two
> licenses can be prevented be a technical separation of the combined
> program components, see section 1.9 of the Mozilla Public License
> and section 3 para. 2 of the German Free Software License.
> With regard to the BSD License, the German Free Software License
> will prevail in case of a combination of program components. This is
> not in conflict with the terms of the BSD license. If the Original
> BSD license is used, the advertising clause can be fulfilled without
> any problems because a similar provision is stated in section 2
> para. 2 number 3 of the German Free Software License.
> 4.c. Include the plain text version of your license at the end of
> the email, either as an insertion or as an attachment.
> Attachment provided below. Furthermore the following web sites
> contain formatted versions of D-FSL:
> German Free Software License
> (c) Ministry of Science and Research, State of North-Rhine
> Westphalia 2004
> Developed and created by Axel Metzger and Till Jaeger, Institut für
> Rechtsfragen der Freien und Open Source Software (Institute for
> Legal Issues On Free and Open Source Software),
> Software is more than a mere economic asset. It is the technical
> foundation of the information society. Therefore, the issue of the
> public share in software is of particular importance. Conventionally
> licensed computer programs are distributed in object code form only,
> and the user is not entitled to modify or pass on the program to
> third parties. The license model for Free Software (synonym "Open
> Source Software"), however, grants comprehensive rights in the
> handling of the program. The German Free Software License is based
> on this license model. It gives you the right to use the program in
> a comprehensive manner. You are allowed to modify the computer
> program according to your requirements or to reproduce or distribute
> it and make it publicly available in a modified or unmodified form.
> These rights are granted free of charge.
> However, the German Free Software License combines these rights with
> certain obligations that will ensure the free circulation of the
> program and all further developments published. If you distribute
> the program or make it publicly available, you have to include a
> copy of this license to anyone receiving the program from you and
> enable access to its source code. Another obligation arises from
> further developments of the program. Modifications to the program
> which you distribute or make publicly available shall be released in
> accordance with the conditions of this license.
> German Free Software License takes into account the special
> requirements of German and European law. It is drafted bilingually
> and thus intended for international distribution.
> Section 0 Definitions
> Documentation: Description of composition, architecture and/or
> structure of the programming process and/or functionalities of the
> program, irrespective of whether they were done in the Source Code
> or separately.
> License: The agreement concluded between the licensor and you, with
> the content of the German Free Software License and/or the
> pertaining offer.
> Licensee: Every natural or legal entity who has accepted this
> Program: Every computer program which has been distributed or made
> publicly available by the entitled person in accordance with the
> terms of this License.
> Object Code: The machine-readable form of the Program.
> Public/publicly: Not solely directed towards a certain group of
> people who have a personal connection to each other or are
> associated through their affiliation with a legal person or public
> Making Publicly Available: The public distribution of the Program in
> an immaterial form, in particular, by making it available for
> download in data networks.
> Entitled Person(s): The author(s) or other holders of the exclusive
> right to use for the Program.
> Source Code: The form of the Program represented in programming
> language and readable for humans.
> Modification: Any extension, shortening and/or alteration of the
> Program, including, but not limited to further developments.
> Distribution: The public passing on of material copies to third
> parties, in particular, onto storage devices or in connection with
> Complete Source Code: The Source Code in the form used for
> preparation and/or modification together with the configuration
> files and software tools required for compilation and installation,
> provided that these are not commonly used in the required form (e.g.
> standard compiler) or can be downloaded by any Internet user without
> license fee.
> Section 1 Rights
> (1) You may reproduce and distribute the Program and make it
> publicly available in an unmodified form.
> (2) You may modify the Program and reproduce and distribute modified
> versions and make them publicly available. It is also permitted to
> combine the Program or parts thereof with other programs.
> (3) You obtain the rights free of charge.
> Section 2 Obligations for Distribution and Making Publicly Available
> (1) If you distribute the Program or make it publicly available, be
> it in unmodified or modified form, be it in combination with other
> programs or in connection with hardware, you also have to provide or
> include the following:
> 1. all references to this License in the Source Code and/or Object
> 2. all references in the Source Code and/or Object Code containing
> information about the author of the Program;
> 3. a conspicuous reference to this License and the Internet address
> <http://www.d-fsl.org>, to be displayed in a form that can easily be
> read by the recipient;
> 4. the complete text of this License in a form easy to perceive.
> (2) If license and/or contract terms are displayed when the Program
> is installed and/or started, the following items must also be
> 1. this License;
> 2. a reference to this License; and
> 3. a reference to the Entitled Person(s) to the initial program
> components used under this License.
> (3) You may not make the use of the Program contingent upon the
> compliance with conditions or obligations that are not set forth in
> this License.
> (4) Provided that you have received Documentation for the Program,
> you have to deliver this Documentation with the Program, as well,
> unless free delivery of the Documentation is not permitted by the
> documentation license.
> Section 3 Further Obligations regarding the Distribution of Modified
> (1) You may only distribute modified versions of the Program or make
> them publicly available in accordance with the terms of this
> License, so that any third party is able to make use of the modified
> Program as a whole under this License.
> (2) If the Program or a part thereof is combined with another
> program, this also applies to the entire combination as a modified
> version of the Program, unless the other program is independent in
> terms of form and content. Another program shall be regarded as
> independent if it fulfils the following requirements:
> 1. The Source Code of the combined programs must be contained in
> separate files which do not include components of the other part
> except for parts containing the information customary and required
> for the Program combination. The Source Code of the other program
> does not have to be delivered.
> 2. The part which is combined with the Program must also be
> reasonably usable when not combined with the Program, i.e. on a
> standalone basis or with other programs. The meaning of "reasonably
> usable" will be based on the opinion of pertinent circles of expert
> groups in the relevant field. Such circles of experts include
> everyone who develops, uses, distributes or makes publicly available
> the Program concerned or programs with similar functionality.
> (3) If you distribute or make publicly available the Program or
> parts thereof - modified or unmodified - in combination with another
> program licensed under the GNU General Public License (GPL), the
> Program may also be used under conditions of the GPL, provided it
> constitutes a "derivative work" together with the other program in
> the sense of the GPL. In this case, any reference to this License
> should be removed and replaced by a reference to the GPL. Whether a
> "derivative work" in the sense of the GPL arises from this
> combination is primarily defined in section 2 b) of the GPL. This
> provision reads: "You must cause any work that you distribute or
> publish, that in whole or in part contains or is derived from the
> Program or any part thereof, to be licensed as a whole at no charge
> to all third parties under the terms of this License." The GPL can
> be obtained under <http://www.fsf.org/licenses/gpl>.
> (4) If you distribute the Program or make it publicly available in a
> modified form, you must include a reference to the modifications and
> the date of the modification in the Source Code. This reference must
> reveal which modifications were carried out and include existing
> references containing information on the author of the Program. This
> applies to whether or not you add your own copyright notice. Instead
> of a reference in the Source Code you may also use or carry on a
> version control system, provided this is also distributed or made
> publicly available.
> (5) You may not charge any third party for the granting of the
> non-exclusive rights of use for the Program.
> (6) If you acquire any other intellectual or industrial property
> right to this Program apart from a copyright, in particular a patent
> or utility model, you license this intellectual or industrial
> property right for modified or unmodified versions of the Program to
> the extent that is necessary to make due use of the rights arising
> from this License.
> Section 4 Further Obligations for the Distribution of the Object
> (1) If you distribute the Program in Object Code form only, apart
> from the obligations defined in Sections 2 and 3, you have to
> 1. make the Complete Source Code publicly available in the Internet
> and - when distributing the Object Code - make a clear reference to
> the complete Internet address from which the Source Code can be
> downloaded; or
> 2. distribute the Complete Source Code on a customary data carrier,
> taking into consideration Sections 2 and 3.
> (2) If you make the Program publicly available in Object Code form,
> apart from the obligations defined in Sections 2 and 3 you must also
> make the Complete Source Code publicly available in the Internet and
> make a clear reference to the complete Internet address.
> (3) Provided that you have received the Documentation for the
> Program, you have to deliver this Documentation together with the
> Program in accordance with Subsections 1 and 2, as well, unless free
> delivery of the Documentation is not permitted by the documentation
> Section 5 Conclusion of the Contract
> (1) With this License you and any other person are offered the
> conclusion of a contract for the use of this Program under the
> conditions of this License.
> (2) You may use the Program in accordance with the applicable
> statutory provisions for the intended purpose without having to
> accept this License. In the European Union and in most other legal
> systems, this right in particular includes the following
> 1. Running of the Program as well as reproducing on hard-drive and
> RAM required for this;
> 2. Making of a back-up copy;
> 3. Correcting errors;
> 4. Distributing a lawfully acquired physical copy of the Program.
> (3) You declare your acceptance of this License by distributing the
> Program, making it publicly available, modifying or reproducing it
> in a way that goes beyond the intended use in the sense of
> Subsection 2. From this time on, this License shall be deemed as a
> legally binding agreement between the Entitled Persons and you,
> without the need for the Entitled Persons to obtain a declaration of
> (4) You and any other licensee acquire the rights arising from this
> License directly from the Entitled Persons. Any sub-licensing or
> transfer of rights is not permitted.
> Section 6 Termination of Rights in the Event of Violations
> (1) Any violation of your obligations under this License
> automatically leads to the termination of your rights under this
> (2) Any rights of third parties having obtained the Program or
> rights to the Program from you shall remain unaffected.
> Section 7 Liability and Warranty
> (1) The Entitled Persons are only liable for conflicting third-party
> rights if they were aware of such rights without informing you.
> (2) Liability for errors and/or other defects in the Program shall
> be governed by agreements concluded between you and the Entitled
> Person beyond the scope of this License or, if no such agreement
> exists, by the pertinent statutory provisions.
> Section 8 Agreements with Third Parties
> (1) This License only governs the relationship between you and the
> Entitled Persons. It is not part of agreements between you and third
> (2) This License does not limit your freedom to conclude agreements
> of any content whatsoever with third parties obtaining copies of the
> Program from you or purchasing services from you in connection with
> the Program, provided that you fulfil your obligations under this
> License and third-party rights under this License are not infringed.
> In particular, you may charge a fee as consideration for the
> transfer of the Program or other services.
> (3) This License does not commit you to forward the Program to a
> third party. You are free to decide to whom you wish to make the
> Program available. However, you may not prevent or complicate
> further use by third parties through the use of technical protective
> measures, in particular, the use of copy protection of any kind.
> Password-protected access restriction or use in an Intranet shall
> not be regarded as technical protective measures.
> Section 9 Text of the License
> (1) This License is written in German and English. Both versions are
> equally binding. It is assumed that terminology used in the License
> has the same meaning in both versions. Should, however, differences
> arise, such meaning is authoritative which best brings into line
> both versions, taking into consideration the aim and purpose of the
> (2) The license board of the German Free Software License may put
> into force binding new versions of this License inasmuch as this is
> required and reasonable. New versions of the License will be
> published on the Internet site <http://www.d-fsl.org> with a unique
> version number. The new version of the License becomes binding for
> you as soon as you become aware of its publication. Legal remedies
> against the modification of the License are not restricted by the
> regulations described above.
> (3) You may reproduce and distribute this License and make it
> publicly available in an unmodified form.
> Section 10 Applicable Law
> The License is governed by German law.
> Appendix: How to submit a Program to the German Free Software
> In order to make it possible for anyone to conclude this License, it
> is recommended to include the following reference to the License in
> the Program:
> "Copyright (C) 20[yy] [Name of the Entitled Person].
> This Program may be used by anyone in accordance with the terms of
> the German Free Software License.
> The License may be obtained under <http://www.d-fsl.org>."
> This licence has been accomplished in cooperation with Dr. Axel
> Metzger, a legal expert from IFROSS. Dr. Metzger will be informed by
> cc of this notice.
> With kind regards
> Christiane Dusch
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