For Approval: Socialtext Public License ("STPL")

Matthew Flaschen matthew.flaschen at
Thu Mar 22 20:51:11 UTC 2007

It would be best if you replied to my comments directly, but I'll try to
address these new points.

Ross Mayfield wrote:
> The draft does not require that the logos  be "large", merely
> prominent. This requirement provides flexibility since the
> requirement of prominence will vary depending on the product and the
> other  material on the screen.

As I see it, there are only two ways to make a logo prominent.  Make it
central, or make it large.  Either way, only a limited number of logos
can be prominent (and of equal prominence).  If you add more, none will be.

 This attribution provision is from an
> OSI approved  license (the Attribution Assurance License) adopted
> after OSD  10.

That's simply false.  AAL does not allow logos, and it was approved
*before* OSD 10 (see
This has been repeatedly mentioned on the list.

 We do not understand the  source of the
> burdensome standard:  it is not in the OSD and many approved licenses
> impose obligations which may be  viewed as "burdensome". We believe
> that the "burdensome" requirement is too  subjective and that
> objections should be based on the OSD.

It is burdensome mainly because it strains OSD in the ways we've been

  For example,  the MPL, itself,
> requires "You must cause all Covered Code to which You  contribute to
> contain a file documenting the changes You made to create that
> Covered Code and the date of any change" 
> [snip]

These don't affect OSD-compliance.

> Yet the experience of the open source  community  in
> the two years since the first use of the MPL and  attribution has been
> to the contrary: the MPL and attribution has not been  widely adopted:
> only a limited number of companies have adopted this  approach.

I don't have statistics.  However, it seems to me a surprising number
have adopted Exhibit B licenses, considering they are not OSI-approved.
 If STPL was OSI-approved, I believe many more would adopt it.  It is
illogical to approve a license with the hope that few will use it.

> Second, the products which are combined must all use the STPL  type
> licenses, not BSD, GPL or other open source licenses. Such licenses do
> not  require attribution.

Of course they do.  They just don't require this kind of branding.

> Finally, since the STPL type licenses
> are non exclusive and if  the problem arises, a developer or company
> can obtain a  license under different terms.

That can not be necessary to exercise the rights required by OSD.

> We do not agree that the  requirement that the display of "sufficient
> duration to give reasonable notice to the user of the identity  of the
> Initial Developer". It gives the licensee flexibility and  establishes
> a standard based on the action of the human  eye.

That looks like a typo, but my point was that the sufficient duration is
highly variable (depending on the viewer), and it unclear how strict a
standard the program must adopt.

Matt Flaschen

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