Badgeware licences, Take Two

Matthew Flaschen matthew.flaschen at
Thu Feb 1 06:22:00 UTC 2007

Dave Rosenberg wrote:
> Again, I think interpretation is in the eye of the beholder. Re: FAQ, it's
> completely possible that it was wrong to begin with, but not everyone has
> time to read these license-discuss threads (though perhaps if we had sooner
> than we could have fixed things in a more timely manner) so take it as you
> will.

That's fair enough.  I'm still wondering where you got that idea (that
selling was prohibited by MPL).  The Open Source Definition explicitly
requires that "The license shall not restrict any party from selling or
giving away the software".  MPL wouldn't be approved by OSI (which it
is) if it banned selling.

> We are absolutely happy to submit our license, but have been in contact with
> a number of OSI board members who suggested we wait and see what happened
> with the SocialText submission.

That makes some sense.  However, SocialText seems to have withdrawn
their original submission (and intends to resubmit soon).  So if you
submitted MPSL now, you might actually be ahead of the game.

> Our goal was not/is not to create confusion
> or non-compliance with the OSI. We don't use the OSI badge, and we have been
> counseled that the license is compliant. We'll figure that out soon enough
> as we continue the discovery.

We would rather you not use the phrase "open source" either until the
license was approved.  The badge is legally protected, but the phrase
"open source" is just as important really.

> RE: IP protection--We have run into multiple issues with public and private
> companies who have made attempts to skirt the MPL/MSPL/maybe anything and
> essentially take Mule as their own with no recognition of the author,
> copyrights, license agreements etc. Forking is one thing, stealing is
> another.

You're not being very specific, but in general MPL and GPL have strong
protections against this.

MPL says, "You must include a prominent statement that the Modification
is derived, directly or indirectly, from Original Code provided by the
Initial Developer and including the name of the Initial Developer in (a)
the Source Code, and (b) in any notice in an Executable version or
related documentation in which You describe the origin or ownership of
the Covered Code."

GPL says you must, "conspicuously and appropriately publish on each copy
an appropriate copyright notice and disclaimer of warranty; keep intact
all the notices that refer to this License and to the absence of any

Also, both require redistributors provide source for the MPL/GPL code,
though the copyleft differs.

 Your Firefox example is actually one that I hadn't entirely
> considered (so thank you for the input.)

Mozilla diligently goes after perceived trademark violations, and I
think they would be equally vigorous about copyright infringement.

> I don't know that the attribution clause makes any difference--which is why
> I asked for suggestions. It's highly possible that we can switch to the MPL
> with zero negative effects--we just haven't figured it out yet. For that
> matter we might also consider the GPL.

I definitely would urge you to consider both.

Matthew Flaschen

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