For Approval: German Free Software License

Russell Nelson nelson at
Wed Nov 24 14:47:45 UTC 2004

Chuck Swiger writes:
 > Although the terms are close in meaning, neither the Free Software
 > Foundation nor the OSI board would consider "free software" and
 > "open source software" to be synonyms.  For example, the OSI board
 > has approved some licenses which are not compatible with the GPL's
 > definition of "free software".

s/GPL/FSF/, and I would note that that particular issue is very
controversial.  It's nowhere near agreed-upon by everyone involved.

 > This version of the license ought to have a version #, too, then.

Yes, it should.

 > >> 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.
 > I would suggest handling this the way the GPL does; ie, the user
 > may choose to accept the new version of the license at their
 > option, not as a requirement.

Yes!  We cannot approve the license with this term in it, since you
could take away someone's rights to redistribute the software.

 > I have strong doubts about the validity of an open-ended license
 > which may be altered or changed by one party without notification
 > or acceptance on the part of the other party.

Yes, but don't forget that they're writing this for German law, which
may allow this (hopefully not).

Thanks for your comments.

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