For Approval: Socialtext Public License ("STPL")

Matthew Flaschen matthew.flaschen at
Fri Mar 9 01:10:57 UTC 2007

Ross Mayfield wrote:
> The Socialtext Public License ("STPL") license is based on the Mozilla
> Public License with all of the modifications in Exhibit B.   Exhibit B
> include an attribution provision based on the Adaptive Public License

This provision is the same as the MSPL's, so my previous comments mostly
still apply.  To summarize: All these large, equal-prominence logos
could easily become burdensome when combined, not all GUIs support
arbitrary logos, and it is difficult to say what is "sufficient
duration".  However, unlike the MSPL, STPL's Exhibit B does not require
a link, or that the attribution is on every screen, which is good.

 and a
> network use provision based on the Affero license. Socialtext believes that
> the application software has special needs as compared to operating systems
> because of the application software can be used anonymously in large
> distributions

Most open source software is actually used in this way.  Can you tell me
who made the file command, or wrote cdrom.c ?  Probably not, but both of
these are essential parts of (large) GNU/Linux distros.

> None of the approved OSI
> approved licenses include both a network use provision and an attribution
> provision. We have limited the new provisions to those which are either the
> same or very close to provisions from existing licenses (see above).

Your network use clause is from Affero, which is not OSI-approved.
However, the only problem I see with this clause is that it requires
"immediate transmission by HTTP", which to me is a violation of OSD #10
.  I think "immediate transmission, over the network, " is much better.

However, SocialText (the program itself) does not seem to have any
provision for providing source to users, so the clause is currently
toothless.  If you use this license, I assume you'll want every version
you release to have this feature.

Matthew Flaschen

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