For Approval: Socialtext Public License ("STPL")

Ross Mayfield ross.mayfield at
Wed Mar 21 20:05:42 UTC 2007

Matthew, thanks again.  Let me respond in more detail to your first message,
responses in bold blow.

On 3/8/07, Matthew Flaschen <matthew.flaschen at> wrote:
> 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.

*RESPONSE: We are not familiar with GUIs that do not support logos. Could
you provide us with examples of such problems?*

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.

*RESPONSE: Our point is that the business models for application programs
are different from operating systems, so this example does not address the
issue. *

> 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.
*RESPONSE: We chose the Affero provision because the open source community
is familiar with it. Given the concerns expressed by License Discuss, we are
willing to delete the provisions relating to transfer by HTTP and simply
require that the source code be made available in the same manner as
provided in the main license agreement (see Section 3.2 of the main license

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