compatibility and the OSD

Evan Prodromou evan at
Tue Sep 21 00:18:48 UTC 2004

Ernest Prabhakar wrote:
> I don't see anything in here that would violate the OSD. I agree with 
> whoever said that it would be cleaner to just make 1b. refer explicitly 
> to the  modified BSD license, since that's trivially re-licensable and 
> potentially less confusing, but that's mostly for your own protection.

So, I'd like to pop my head up and say that I think this license sucks eggs.

Consider, for example, a Web browser distributed using this license. It weighs 
in at 58MiB in source form with all the documentation and test suite.

It also has a really nice linked-list implementation in C. I'd like to include 
that linked-list module (a few header and source files) in my solitaire game.

Unless the test suite is really strange or trivial, my solitaire game is going 
to fail the test suite. So, according to the stated license, I'm going to have 
to ship the entire 58MiB source for the Web browser along with my solitaire 
game, as well as a whole bunch of documentation that has nothing to do with my game.

I'd say that this severely limits the scope of derivative works that can be 
created -- to the point that OSD#3 is non-trivially infringed. Yes, I can still 
technically make a derivative work, but practicality makes it too difficult.

I'm not saying that that's enough to make the license uncertifiable, but having 
the licensor limit the scope of derivative works possible seems to be skirting 
the edge of it.

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