For Approval: OSL 3.0 and AFL 3.0

Rod Dixon, J.D., LL.M. roddixon at
Wed Sep 14 11:01:00 UTC 2005

I recommend approval of both licenses.

Rod Dixon

 ..... Original Message .......
On Tue, 13 Sep 2005 15:35:47 -0700 "Lawrence Rosen" <lrosen at> wrote:
>Sorry, Russ, the previous email had a typo in the subject line. I wouldn't
>want that to affect the license approval process. /Larry
>TO: license-discuss at
>At Russ Nelson's request, I am resending this email to license-discuss with
>a one-word change to the subject line, changing from "Submitted for
>Approval" to "For Approval." This is yet another example of OSI spending
>more effort on form rather than function (e.g., the ONLY comment I've
>received about these licenses from ANY OSI board member or attorney is this
>complaint from Russ about the subject line), but I'm not willing to waste
>energy arguing the point. I'd rather do whatever it takes to move this
>license through review and to approval.
>Russ wrote:
>> Feel free to tell people that I whined at you.
>> I whined at Sam Greenblatt, too, until he did it, so don't feel that 
>> you're the only privileged victim.
>Believe me, I don't feel privileged.
>/Larry Rosen
>I now submit for formal review and approval the Open Software License (OSL)
>and Academic Free License (AFL) version 3.0.
>The two licenses are at:
>The only significant difference between the two licenses is in their
>sections 1(c), which read as follows:
>OSL § 1(c): to distribute or communicate copies of the Original Work and 
>            Derivative Works to the public, with the proviso that copies 
>            of Original Work or Derivative Works that You distribute or 
>            communicate shall be licensed under this Open Software License;
>AFL § 1(c): to distribute or communicate copies of the Original Work and 
>            Derivative Works to the public, under any license of your 
>            choice that does not contradict the terms and conditions, 
>            including Licensor’s reserved rights and remedies, in this 
>            Academic Free License;
>Even though these are two licenses, they do not contribute to license
>proliferation because they use the same language throughout to accomplish
>their goals. OSL 3.0 is a reciprocal license; AFL 3.0 is an academic
>The redlined comparison between OSL 3.0 and AFL 3.0 is at
>Since OSL 3.0 and AFL 3.0 are essentially the same, I describe below the
>major differences between OSL 3.0 and its predecessor, version 2.1. The
>newer license has been internationalized, with substantial help and
>suggestions from lawyers and software experts in many countries, and
>clarified with many suggestions by colleagues on license-discuss and
>privately. Thanks!
>Initial paragraph: 
>- Changed the license version number.
>Section 1: Grant of Copyright License
>- Expressly authorizes copies of the Original Work in collective works.
>- Expressly defines Derivative Works consistently with copyright law.
>  NOTE: Only the listed activities ("translate, adapt, alter,
>        transform, modify, or arrange") create derivative works.
>        "Linking" does not create a derivative work.
>        This license operates like the LGPL, MPL, CDDL, 
>        and many other reciprocal licenses (but with greater
>        clarity and precision regarding derivative works); 
>        it doesn't operate like the current GPL version 2. 
>- The duration of the grant acknowledges that copyrights expire.
>Section 2: Grant of Patent License
>- The grant now includes the right to "have made" and "import".
>- The duration of the grant acknowledges that patents expire.
>Section 3: Grant of Source Code License
>- There is no longer a requirement to notice the location of the source
>Section 8: Limitation of Liability
>- Simplified the language to conform to international practice.
>Section 9: Acceptance and Termination
>- Clarified assent provisions to conform to international practice.
>- Expressly provide for "fair use" and "fair dealing".
>- Eliminated references to U.S. law.
>Section 11: Jurisdiction, Venue and Governing Law
>- Eliminated references to U.S. law. 
>Section 16: Modification of This License
>- This new section authorizes derivative works of this license.
>  NOTE: This should promote license consistency; I hope it doesn't
>        lead to license proliferation. 
>All changes in OSL 3.0, including typographical corrections and language
>simplification, are shown in the redlined comparison between OSL 3.0 and OSL
>When OSL 3.0 and AFL 3.0 are approved, I will request that earlier versions
>of the licenses all be deprecated on OSI's list.
>/Larry Rosen
>Lawrence Rosen
>Rosenlaw & Einschlag, technology law offices (
>3001 King Ranch Road, Ukiah, CA 95482
>707-485-1242  *  fax: 707-485-1243
>Author of "Open Source Licensing: Software Freedom and 
>   Intellectual Property Law" (Prentice Hall 2004) 
>   [Available also at]

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