For Approval: Non-Profit OSL 3.0

Lawrence Rosen lrosen at
Mon Aug 6 20:47:30 UTC 2007

I submit the following Non-Profit OSL 3.0 on behalf of IETF, the Internet
Engineering Task Force, for its use to distribute software tools: 


This is a generalized open source license suitable for use by other
non-profit organizations.


IETF is a large open international community of network designers,
operators, vendors, and researchers concerned with the evolution of the
Internet architecture and the smooth operation of the Internet. It publishes
protocol standards, best current practices, and informational documents of
various kinds. More information about IETF can be found at
<> . The software tools that IETF creates and uses will
be distributed under the new Non-Profit OSL 3.0 to help other organizations
facing similar process control issues to manage large numbers of
specifications and related documents and the work flows of many technical
working groups.


IETF needs a version of the Open Software License ("OSL 3.0") that is
suitable for a non-profit organization that receives no revenue whatsoever
from the distribution of licensed software or derivative works, or from
support or services relating to that software. IETF-like many non-profit
organizations-cannot afford to offer either a warranty of provenance (OSL
3.0 s. 7, first sentence) or to accept liability for "direct" damages (not
excluded in OSL 3.0 s. 8, first sentence). At the same time, they want a
robust reciprocal open source license that requires the source code of
derivative works of IETF open source tools to be disclosed-when they are
distributed as traditional copies or when they are used over a network,
which OSL 3.0 already provides (see s. 1(c) and s. 5 of both OSL 3.0 and
Non-Profit OSL 3.0). 


The very few substantive differences between OSL 3.0 and the Non-Profit OSL
3 are described in a new s. 17, at the end of the new license itself. A
redlined comparison of the two versions is at 


Please note that OSL 3.0 and the Non-Profit OSL 3.0 remain compatible. If a
distributor of software cannot make the declaration of s. 17(a) in the
Non-Profit OSL 3.0, it must distribute that software and derivative works
under the original OSL 3.0 license, including the warranty of provenance and
potential liability for direct damages.


Since the new Non-Profit OSL 3.0 does not otherwise affect any part of the
open source bargain, it should be approved for the same reasons that the
original OSL 3.0 license was approved. 


Please direct your comments about IETF and its licensing model to Jorge
Contreras, attorney for IETF. His email address is
jorge.contreras at, and he is cc'd on this email.


Please let me know if you need any additional information for OSI's approval


A plain-text version of the Non-Profit OSL 3.0 license is below, although I
encourage you to read the formatted version at




Non-Profit Open Software License ("Non-Profit OSL") 3.0


This Non-Profit Open Software License ("Non-Profit OSL") version 3.0 (the
"License") applies to any original work of authorship (the "Original Work")
whose owner (the "Licensor") has placed the following licensing notice
adjacent to the copyright notice for the Original Work: 


Licensed under the Non-Profit Open Software License version 3.0


1) Grant of Copyright License. Licensor grants You a worldwide,
royalty-free, non-exclusive, sublicensable license, for the duration of the
copyright, to do the following: 


a) to reproduce the Original Work in copies, either alone or as part of a
collective work; 


b) to translate, adapt, alter, transform, modify, or arrange the Original
Work, thereby creating derivative works ("Derivative Works") based upon the
Original Work; 


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 Non-Profit Open Software License or as provided in section 17(d); 


d) to perform the Original Work publicly; and 


e) to display the Original Work publicly. 


2) Grant of Patent License. Licensor grants You a worldwide, royalty-free,
non-exclusive, sublicensable license, under patent claims owned or
controlled by the Licensor that are embodied in the Original Work as
furnished by the Licensor, for the duration of the patents, to make, use,
sell, offer for sale, have made, and import the Original Work and Derivative


3) Grant of Source Code License. The term "Source Code" means the preferred
form of the Original Work for making modifications to it and all available
documentation describing how to modify the Original Work. Licensor agrees to
provide a machine-readable copy of the Source Code of the Original Work
along with each copy of the Original Work that Licensor distributes.
Licensor reserves the right to satisfy this obligation by placing a
machine-readable copy of the Source Code in an information repository
reasonably calculated to permit inexpensive and convenient access by You for
as long as Licensor continues to distribute the Original Work. 


4) Exclusions From License Grant. Neither the names of Licensor, nor the
names of any contributors to the Original Work, nor any of their trademarks
or service marks, may be used to endorse or promote products derived from
this Original Work without express prior permission of the Licensor. Except
as expressly stated herein, nothing in this License grants any license to
Licensor's trademarks, copyrights, patents, trade secrets or any other
intellectual property. No patent license is granted to make, use, sell,
offer for sale, have made, or import embodiments of any patent claims other
than the licensed claims defined in Section 2. No license is granted to the
trademarks of Licensor even if such marks are included in the Original Work.
Nothing in this License shall be interpreted to prohibit Licensor from
licensing under terms different from this License any Original Work that
Licensor otherwise would have a right to license.


5) External Deployment. The term "External Deployment" means the use,
distribution, or communication of the Original Work or Derivative Works in
any way such that the Original Work or Derivative Works may be used by
anyone other than You, whether those works are distributed or communicated
to those persons or made available as an application intended for use over a
network. As an express condition for the grants of license hereunder, You
must treat any External Deployment by You of the Original Work or a
Derivative Work as a distribution under section 1(c). 


6) Attribution Rights. You must retain, in the Source Code of any Derivative
Works that You create, all copyright, patent, or trademark notices from the
Source Code of the Original Work, as well as any notices of licensing and
any descriptive text identified therein as an "Attribution Notice." You must
cause the Source Code for any Derivative Works that You create to carry a
prominent Attribution Notice reasonably calculated to inform recipients that
You have modified the Original Work. 


7) Warranty of Provenance and Disclaimer of Warranty. The Original Work is
provided under this License on an "AS IS" BASIS and WITHOUT WARRANTY, either
express or implied, including, without limitation, the warranties of
non-infringement, merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. THE
DISCLAIMER OF WARRANTY constitutes an essential part of this License. No
license to the Original Work is granted by this License except under this


8) Limitation of Liability. Under no circumstances and under no legal
theory, whether in tort (including negligence), contract, or otherwise,
shall the Licensor be liable to anyone for any direct, indirect, special,
incidental, or consequential damages of any character arising as a result of
this License or the use of the Original Work including, without limitation,
damages for loss of goodwill, work stoppage, computer failure or
malfunction, or any and all other commercial damages or losses. This
limitation of liability shall not apply to the extent applicable law
prohibits such limitation. 


9) Acceptance and Termination. If, at any time, You expressly assented to
this License, that assent indicates your clear and irrevocable acceptance of
this License and all of its terms and conditions. If You distribute or
communicate copies of the Original Work or a Derivative Work, You must make
a reasonable effort under the circumstances to obtain the express assent of
recipients to the terms of this License. This License conditions your rights
to undertake the activities listed in Section 1, including your right to
create Derivative Works based upon the Original Work, and doing so without
honoring these terms and conditions is prohibited by copyright law and
international treaty. Nothing in this License is intended to affect
copyright exceptions and limitations (including "fair use" or "fair
dealing"). This License shall terminate immediately and You may no longer
exercise any of the rights granted to You by this License upon your failure
to honor the conditions in Section 1(c). 


10) Termination for Patent Action. This License shall terminate
automatically and You may no longer exercise any of the rights granted to
You by this License as of the date You commence an action, including a
cross-claim or counterclaim, against Licensor or any licensee alleging that
the Original Work infringes a patent. This termination provision shall not
apply for an action alleging patent infringement by combinations of the
Original Work with other software or hardware. 


11) Jurisdiction, Venue and Governing Law. Any action or suit relating to
this License may be brought only in the courts of a jurisdiction wherein the
Licensor resides or in which Licensor conducts its primary business, and
under the laws of that jurisdiction excluding its conflict-of-law
provisions. The application of the United Nations Convention on Contracts
for the International Sale of Goods is expressly excluded. Any use of the
Original Work outside the scope of this License or after its termination
shall be subject to the requirements and penalties of copyright or patent
law in the appropriate jurisdiction. This section shall survive the
termination of this License. 


12) Attorneys' Fees. In any action to enforce the terms of this License or
seeking damages relating thereto, the prevailing party shall be entitled to
recover its costs and expenses, including, without limitation, reasonable
attorneys' fees and costs incurred in connection with such action, including
any appeal of such action. This section shall survive the termination of
this License. 


13) Miscellaneous. If any provision of this License is held to be
unenforceable, such provision shall be reformed only to the extent necessary
to make it enforceable. 


14) Definition of "You" in This License. "You" throughout this License,
whether in upper or lower case, means an individual or a legal entity
exercising rights under, and complying with all of the terms of, this
License. For legal entities, "You" includes any entity that controls, is
controlled by, or is under common control with you. For purposes of this
definition, "control" means (i) the power, direct or indirect, to cause the
direction or management of such entity, whether by contract or otherwise, or
(ii) ownership of fifty percent (50%) or more of the outstanding shares, or
(iii) beneficial ownership of such entity. 


15) Right to Use. You may use the Original Work in all ways not otherwise
restricted or conditioned by this License or by law, and Licensor promises
not to interfere with or be responsible for such uses by You. 


16) Modification of This License. This License is Copyright C 2005 Lawrence
Rosen. Permission is granted to copy, distribute, or communicate this
License without modification. Nothing in this License permits You to modify
this License as applied to the Original Work or to Derivative Works.
However, You may modify the text of this License and copy, distribute or
communicate your modified version (the "Modified License") and apply it to
other original works of authorship subject to the following conditions: (i)
You may not indicate in any way that your Modified License is the "Open
Software License" or "OSL" and you may not use those names in the name of
your Modified License; (ii) You must replace the notice specified in the
first paragraph above with the notice "Licensed under <insert your license
name here>" or with a notice of your own that is not confusingly similar to
the notice in this License; and (iii) You may not claim that your original
works are open source software unless your Modified License has been
approved by Open Source Initiative (OSI) and You comply with its license
review and certification process.


17) Non-Profit Amendment. The name of this amended version of the Open
Software License ("OSL 3.0") is "Non-Profit Open Software License 3.0". The
original OSL 3.0 license has been amended as follows:


(a) Licensor represents and declares that it is a not-for-profit
organization that derives no revenue whatsoever from the distribution of the
Original Work or Derivative Works thereof, or from support or services
relating thereto. 


(b) The first sentence of Section 7 ["Warranty of Provenance"] of OSL 3.0
has been stricken. For Original Works licensed under this Non-Profit OSL


(c) In the first sentence of Section 8 ["Limitation of Liability"] of this
Non-Profit OSL 3.0, the list of damages for which LIABILITY IS LIMITED now
includes "direct" damages.


(d) The proviso in Section 1(c) of this License now refers to this
"Non-Profit Open Software License" rather than the "Open Software License".
You may distribute or communicate the Original Work or Derivative Works
thereof under this Non-Profit OSL 3.0 license only if You make the
representation and declaration in paragraph (a) of this Section 17.
Otherwise, You shall distribute or communicate the Original Work or
Derivative Works thereof only under the OSL 3.0 license and You shall
publish clear licensing notices so stating. Also by way of clarification,
this License does not authorize You to distribute or communicate works under
this Non-Profit OSL 3.0 if You received them under the original OSL 3.0


(e) Original Works licensed under this license shall reference "Non-Profit
OSL 3.0" in licensing notices to distinguish them from works licensed under
the original OSL 3.0 license.



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