APL license - What about the enforced logos?

Matthew Flaschen matthew.flaschen at gatech.edu
Tue Nov 7 21:54:07 UTC 2006

Ajeet Narayan wrote:
> b) Is APL a valid Open Source license (I cannot find any reference in
> OpenSource.org)?

It isn't OSI-certified; you're correct in thinking that all
OSI-certified licenses are on opensource.org .  I'll explain below why I
 think OSI can't approve it.

>"Supplied free of charge with no support, no certification, no
maintenance, no warranty and no indemnity by Alfresco Software, Inc or
its certified partners."

This can be read as requiring that the program itself is provided free
of charge, which is a violation of Point #1 of OSI's Open Source
Definition (http://opensource.org/docs/definition.php).  Point #1 says
"The license shall not restrict any party from selling [...] the
software [...]."

> (iii) the copyright notice in the same form as the latest
> version of the Covered Code distributed by Alfresco Software, Inc. at
> the time of distribution of such copy.

This makes it difficult for downstream contributors to protect their
modifications; it is probably also false designation of origin (and thus
prosecutable under the Latham Act).

> In addition, the "Alfresco
> Community" logo and vendor disclaimer must be visible to all users and
> be located at the very bottom left of each user interface screen.

This requires there be a GUI!  This may seem like a given for a modern
CMS, but it makes it impossible for the code to be incorporated into
unrelated projects.  It is also a violation of OSD #10, which requires
that "No provision of the license may be predicated on any [...] style
of interface."

> When users click on the "
> Alfresco Community " logo it must direct them back to
> http://www.alfresco.com <http://www.alfresco.com/>.

This requires that HTTP is available, and is another violation of OSD
#10, since "No provision of the license may be predicated on any
individual technology."

This license is certainly not OSI-compliant, and I urge you not to refer
to it as open source.

Matthew Flaschen

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