Jbilling: Possible unauthorised use of OSI Certified service mark

Matthew Flaschen matthew.flaschen at gatech.edu
Sat Dec 30 05:48:29 UTC 2006

Rick Moen wrote:
> o  Few if any mention their licences' lack of OSI approval.  Many
>    imply otherwise; one (Sapienter) outright claims approval (as noted).

I agree that this is a clear violation.  It is likely that they are
aware of the controversy Exhibit B provoked on this list.  However, it
is a violation either way.  The certification page
(http://opensource.org/docs/certification_mark.php) notes that "Use of
these marks for software that is not distributed under an OSI approved
license is an infringement of OSI's certification marks and is against
the law."  No one could reasonably assume that a license remains
certified when an arbitrary restriction is added.

> o  At least one, Socialtext, falsely claims in public to use MPL 1.1
>    without mentioning its licence modifications at all.[1]

Not only that, the page you linked to says "Drawing from its Perl
luminary roots, Socialtext releases all its products under a liberal
OSI-compliant Mozilla Public 1.1 license."  This is essentially the same
offense, though it is probably not actionable since "OSI" itself doesn't
seem to be trademarked.

> Aside from Sapienter's outreach breach of trademark law, some might
> object that OSI simply cannot do anything, to correct this situation.  I
> beg to differ, and ask that OSI take appropriate, measured, and
> constructive action:  Please consider issuing a formal statement
> deploring use of "modified MPL" licenses in circumvention of OSI
> scrutiny, and especially their use without clearly disclosing lack of
> OSI approval.

I don't think it's OSI's place to criticize every license that isn't OSI
certified, or even people who inappropriately use the phrase Open
Source.  However, it should take immediate action against those who say
MPL+B is OSI-compliant, at least when a trademark violation is involved.

I am CC'ing this message to sales at jbilling.com , and I have notified
sourceforge that they are using an unapproved license.

Matthew Flaschen

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