openbravo license: another variant of the MPL

Karl Fogel kfogel at
Thu Apr 28 02:18:51 UTC 2011

Michael Tiemann <tiemann at> writes:
>I hate to be the one to stir the pot and suggest yet another open
>source license for review


>so I'm writing to license-discuss first,
>not license-review.  The openbravo license
>( clearly sits much closer
>to the Mozilla Public License (MPL) version 1.1 than does the CPAL,
>which the OSI has approved.  If law really was like code, then one
>could argue mathematically that a license that properly sits between
>two approved licenses should be implicitly approved.  But that's not
>how things have historically worked for the OSI, at least not at a
>form process level.
>I would like to use and recommend openbravo, but feel conflicted about
>the license's non-approved status.
>WTF (What's the fix)?
>Another license to be approved?
>More progress on license templatization?
>A theory of approval continuity (i.e., a license that sits properly
>between two approved licenses is approved)?

I think we always want to have a discrete list of licenses that are
approved, and not deal with continua -- precisely because, as you point
out, the law is not like code.

But in any case, Richard's point about the badgeware clause makes this
not a simple matter of being between two existing licenses.  Even CPAL
just says "The size of the graphic image should be consistent with the
size of the other elements of the Attribution Information."  But the
OBPL actually specifies a pixel size.  Whoa.

Thoughts welcome... badgeware is a slippery slope.  I haven't seen all
the past discussions on it, but my tentative feeling is we need to be
very careful that attribution requirements do not become burdensome,
either technically or from a business/publicity perspective.  OBPL seems
to fail at least the first test, I think.

As for what to do with Open Bravo right now, Michael, I'm not sure.  I
feel like it's very close to being open source, but that clause is a
real doozy.

Couple of questions:

  - I assume the "license templatization" effort you refer to would
    cover things like the replacement of "Mozilla" with "OpenBravo", so
    that if they had *just* used MPL with that simple substitution, they
    could still consider it open source.  Is that what it would mean?

  - Ideally, I'd like to respond to license questions quickly, but in
    practice I can't usually do it on the same day -- I have to batch
    things up for the weekends.  Hope that's okay with everyone (given
    that I volunteered for licensing committee).

  - Do we have anywhere a list of all "badgeware"-ish licenses?  I was
    tempted to annotate to
    reflect this (CPAL is in the "uncategorized" section anyway), but
    there might be reasons to object to that, so I haven't done it yet.


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