When is a licence non-duplicative? Making licences global.

Chris Yoo cyoo at squiz.net
Tue Apr 12 00:22:29 UTC 2005


"From now on, approved licenses must meet three new criteria of being (a)
non-duplicative, (b) clear and understandable, and (c) reusable."

And, with respect to criteria (a) above:

"..The license must not be duplicative. That is, it is up to the submitter
to demonstrate that the license solves a problem not sufficiently addressed
by an existing approved license. Approval may be denied to any submitted
license, even a technically OSD- conformant license, if OSI deems it

As a non-US user of open source software, I am encouraged by the OSI's
willingness to address the issue of jurisdiction and choice of law when
'classifying' whether licences are 'preferred' or 'ordinary. However I
assume that prior to such classification the licences must first be
approved, taking into consideration the three new criteria above. 

Would a licence, identical to an already existing (US-based) open source
licence, EXCEPT for issues pertaining to the particular requirements of that
local jurisdiction be non-duplicative? And should such a licence be
duplicative and therefore not eligible for approval by the OSI, how does the
OSI plan to deal with these particular issues? Note that the issue that I
refer to is not neutral choice of law and jurisdiction clauses, but the
actual legal requirements of each jurisdiction.

As an example, if I was to take the MPL and modify the Limitation of
Liability clause to be incomformance with Australian statutory requirements
imposed by the Australian Trade Practices Act which requires , and submitted
it for approval would it be 'non-duplicative'? (I am not seeking an answer
to this example - it is merely illustrative of the above point).

I believe that the 'non-duplicative' critiera requires clarification. 

Kind regards,
Chris Yoo

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