Question regarding a new local license approach

Mikko Valimaki mikko.valimaki at
Thu Mar 10 21:03:04 UTC 2005

Fabian Bastin wrote:
> Hi,
> IMHO, such local issues are important, since the way a license is 
> interpreted may vary following the national and international 
> legislations, and so we can face annoying legal issues. I therefore take 
> the liberty to transmit the following link for informational purposes: 
> It is an attempt to 
> develop an open-source license that would cover the european community 
> legal issues.

An interesting document. As an EU citizen with some legal education, I 
can spot a few details quickly:

1. They don't recommend a permissive license (BSD), since copyleft is "a 
  fundamental feature in order to avoid the appropriation of the program 
by third parties." If they are talking about software developed with my 
tax money, I'm concerned if they are going to recommend an incompatible 
copyleft license.

2. They seem to be concerned that the right to "communication to the 
public" is not addressed in US law / licenses. I wouldn't be so 
concerned. According to EU software copyright directive article 4 
( communication to the 
public is not among exclusive rights as such. We have the same three: 
copying, modification and distribution. Note that the last one of these 
is worded as "any form of distribution to the public".

3. For the GPL/OSL contractual binding mechanims they state: "All theses 
contractual clauses concerning the licensee acceptance are useless". 
Overall, they seem to be more concerned with the technical mechanism of 
valid acceptance, which I think is beside the point. More relevant is to 
understand that, without a valid license, any European user has just a 
limited bare license to use a legally obtained copy according to the 
directive article 5.1 and nothing more.


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