Suggested addition to the open-source definition

Matthew Garrett mjg59 at
Mon Apr 24 13:02:36 UTC 2006

I can't find any other list mentioned on that seems more 
appropriate for this, so:

11. License must not restrict non-software related rights

The license must not restrict the licensee's ability to exercise rights 
unrelated to the field of software, and any copyright license must not 
automatically terminate upon the exercising of these rights.


>From section 12.1 of the APSL 2.0:

12.1 Termination. This License and the rights granted hereunder will

(c) automatically without notice from Apple if You, at any time during
the term of this License, commence an action for patent infringement
against Apple; provided that Apple did not first commence
an action for patent infringement against You in that instance.

No restriction is made to the field of software. Apple is a hardware 
manufacturer - it is not implausible that they are violating some number 
of non-software patents. However, anyone seeking to protect their 
intellectual property against Apple loses the right to use APSLed 

While many people perceive software patents as having a chilling effect 
on the industry (especially the open source areas of it), far fewer seem 
to believe that the patent system itself is unacceptable. Open source 
licenses should not be used to protect unrelated intellectual property 
or make wider political points, and copyright licenses that terminate 
when the user does something perfectly reasonable and morally acceptable 
should be rejected.

Note that I'm not calling for non-copyright grants to be irrevokable - 
allowing for patent grants to be terminated in response to a patent suit 
seems reasonable. But as it is, using software under the APSL 2.0 
effectively requires a limited patent grant to Apple.

Matthew Garrett | mjg59 at

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