AW: AW: For Approval: German Free Software License

Axel Metzger metzger at
Fri Nov 26 09:24:27 UTC 2004

Hello Bernhard, hello list,

Bernhard Fastenrath wrote:

>>>>I do not see why license version 1 should be infected by a
>>>>presumed non-compliance of license version 
> >>
>>>I would like to suggest that this is insufficient as the statute of the
>>>license board is subject to change while licensees and licensors using
>>>the GFSL have entered a binding agreement that can be modified by the
>>>license board.
>> You answered only to my last argument. My first and major point is that
>> should treat the non-compliance of license version 2 if this case will
>> I do not see that this is a problem of version 1. 
>But users of license 1 will migrate to license 2 as soon as you publish
>it unless you allow OSI a veto in this process and you make this veto a
>part of the license itself, not the statute of the license board, which
>might change without a veto from OSI.

Who gives the GFSL-people "a veto" in OSI-things? I think you have no
realistic view on the balance of powers at stake. Take a look on the
institutions behind the GFSL. They are too big to depend on anybody. That was
one of the reasons why they wanted to have their own license. A veto cannot
be the solution. By promoting solutions like this you take the risk that the
GFSL-people will renounce for any OSI-approval. The result would be similar
to the French way of the CNRS and their cecil-license.

Please read also my answer to Russell Nelson (it's number 65 in the thread
put in order by date). I presented a line of compromise there. One should
better talk about participation than about veto-rights.

>The "neutral representative authority" you want to create wants to 
>assume a position like the FSF, because for the individual author
>the FSF is just that: A neutral presentative authority to provide
>a legal representative that is willing to defend the terms of the

No, the FSF has two hats on its head. For some components it acts as licensor
for others as third party. This raises a lot of difficult legal questions. 

Best regards,


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