AW: For Approval - German Free Software License

Ian Lance Taylor ian at
Mon Nov 29 15:49:57 UTC 2004

"Dusch, Christiane" <Christiane.Dusch at> writes:

> So let's think about a compromise. I talked to Axel Metzger. We both
> could
> live with a modification of section 9 para. 2 saying something like:
> "(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 
> be similar in its policies AND FOLLOW THE MODEL OF FREE AND OPEN
> SOFTWARE. They will be published on the Internet site <http://www.d-
> 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." 
> Please note that I cannot decide those changes by myself. I could only
> offer
> to proof and discuss it carefully with the other parties involved.

As far as I can see, the minimal compromise which the OSI could accept
would be:

"The new version of the License becomes binding for you as soon as you
become aware of its publication and as soon as it has been approved by
the OSI."

(You will also want a clause to handle the case where the OSI no
longer exists.)

The key point, I think, is this: the OSI can not delegate to any other
organization whether a license meets the OSD.

I imagine that you would not be willing to live with this type of
restriction.  So, live without OSI Certification.  It's hardly the end
of the world.

Incidentally, it might help if you explained why you need the ability
to create new versions of the license which become binding on software
which was distributed under an older version of the license.  I
personally would never touch software under such a license.  Why does
it not suffice to release new versions of the software under the new
license, without affecting old versions of the software?


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