[License-discuss] SPDX License List v1.14 & OSI questions

John Cowan cowan at mercury.ccil.org
Mon Apr 30 19:19:14 UTC 2012

Karl Fogel scripsit:

> I can find no record of approval of the Academic Free License prior to
> 3.0.  As of 2006-10-31, we were linking to "/licenses/afl-3.0.php",
> and now of course we link to http://opensource.org/licenses/AFL-3.0.

http://wayback.archive.org/web/*/http://opensource.org/licenses/* is
your friend.  Filtering for "afl" on the page shows that afl-1.1.php,
afl-1.2.php, afl-2.0.php, afl-2.1.php all existed, so I think we can
infer that they were approved.  No evidence for 1.0, though.

>   > Was this [Apache 1.0] ever OSI-approved?
> For the reasons given above, I can't tell, sorry.  I can find Apache
> 2.0, but not 1.0.

The same search shows that 1.1 was approved, but again no evidence for

> Regarding Apple Public Source License 1.0 (APSL-1.0) you ask:
>   > Was this ever OSI approved?  Note at top of fedora url says: This
>   > license is non-free. At one point, it could be found at
>   > http://www.opensource.apple.com/apsl/1.0.txt, but that link now
>   > redirects to APSL 2.0. A copy of the license text has been taken
>   > from archive.org's October 01, 2007 revision.

The Archive shows that APSL 1.2 was approved.  Wikipedia claims that
APSL 1.0 was also approved, but gives no authority for this statement.
That also matches my recollections (there was a considerable fuss at the
time, because it was OSI-approved but not FSF-free, the first of the new
licenses with that property).

> That's great, except s/commercial/proprietary/ :-(.

When the Artistic 1.0 was written, the distinction was not well
understood.  I don't think that's a problem.

> Regarding old BSD 4-clause (or "original" BSD) you ask:
>    > Was this OSI approved?
> Again, I don't know.

No evidence that it ever was, nor do I have any recollection of it.

> Regarding the "CNRI Python GPL Compatible License Agreement"
> (CNRI-Python-GPL-Compatible), you ask:
>    > not on OSI site, but was OSI approved??  Please clarify will need
>    > link from OSI site once (if) updated

No evidence for it.

> Regarding GPL-1.0, you ask:
>    > was this ever OSI approved?
> Good question.  I'm not sure, but I doubt it, as by the time OSI was
> formed, GPL 2.0 had been published for years already.  Thus 1.0 might
> never have been considered.

That agrees with my recollections.

> Regarding GPL-2.0 (and sometimes GPL-3.0) "with Autoconf exception",
> and "with Bison exception", and "with classpath exception", and "with
> font exception", and "with GCC exception", you ask:
>   > if the underlying license is OSI approved, then is the exception
>   > also approved?
> In my opinion, yes, and there's no need for a separate license
> approval process.  If a license is approved, then that license + an
> exception should be considered approved when the exception clearly
> adds no restrictions or requirements for the licensee, as is the case
> here.

I agree.

> Regarding GNU Library General Public License v2 only (LGPL-2.0) you
> ask:
>    > Was this ever OSI approved?
> I don't know.  I suspect the answer to that one would not be so hard
> to find, but I want to plough to the end of this spreadsheet right now
> and get these responses posted.  I did a cursory search on the OSI
> site and didn't find any evidence of approval.  Anyone here know about
> LGPL-2.0?

The differences between 2.0 and 2.1, other than the name (GNU Library
vs. Lesser Public License) are entirely editorial.  I can provide a list
of them for anyone who wants it.

> Regarding OSL-2.0 and OSL-2.1, you asked:
>    > is this OSI approved? (versions 1.0 and 3.0 are, but this one not
>    > listed anywhere on site)
> I don't know.  Anyone?  Bueller?

OSL 1.0, 1.1, 2.0, and 2.1 are all on the Archive.  Since AFL and OSL
were always developed together and submitted together, I think it's safe
to assume that AFL 1.0 and OSL 1.2 were both approved, despite the lack
of direct evidence.  See my .sig.

John Cowan  cowan at ccil.org   http://ccil.org/~cowan
"The exception proves the rule."  Dimbulbs think: "Your counterexample proves
my theory."  Latin students think "'Probat' means 'tests': the exception puts
the rule to the proof."  But legal historians know it means "Evidence for an
exception is evidence of the existence of a rule in cases not excepted from."

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