[License-discuss] Newbie post: Localisable open source software license

Luis Villa luis at lu.is
Mon Oct 21 15:59:44 UTC 2013

On Oct 21, 2013 8:51 AM, "Patrice-Emmanuel Schmitz" <
pe.schmitz at googlemail.com> wrote:

> Dear all,
> The most localisable experience so far regarding open source software
> licences is the EUPL, which has currently a working value (and is
> OSI-approved) in 22 languages. However it is not a BSD-style licence, but a
> copyleft licence with an interoperability clause:
> https://joinup.ec.europa.eu/software/page/eupl/licence-eupl
> As a document published by the European Commission, the EUPL can be reused
> as a template by other countries or organisations, according to article 4
> and 6 of the
> COMMISSION DECISION of 12 December 2011 on the reuse of Commission
> documents (2011/833/EU)
> http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2011:330:0039:0042:EN:PDF
> In case it could be of some use for you...

Hi, P-E:

As a point of clarification: a legal document that is changed from one
language or jurisdiction to another can undergo two types of changes:

1. "mere" translation: the document is originally written to be valid
across many/most jurisdictions, and the translation therefore attempts to
"simply" translate to the greatest extent possible; i.e., no *deliberate*
change in meaning is attempted by the translators.

2. "porting": the translators not only translate the language, but, as
necessary, add, remove, or alter parts of the license in order to make it
more legally correct (e.g., changing it from a license to a contract, or
adding references to rights that did not exist in the original author's

My understanding is that EUPL's translations are in the first category
("mere" translation), since they can rely on cross-EU standardization of
legal regimes. Is that correct?


> 2013/10/21 ChanMaxthon <xcvista at me.com>
>> Those CC licenses are indeed interchangeable l10ns, if it have the same
>> properties. They also have special clause in the licenses to permit
>> interchanging l10ns of the license in the actual legal code. Example: CC-by
>> 3.0 China (in Simplified Chinese, on top of Chinese laws) versus CC-by 3.0
>> United States (in English, on top of US laws) versus CC-by 3.0 Unported (in
>> English, on top of UN-administered international treaties)
>> What I am trying here is to add similar clauses into open source licenses
>> for software, making it similarly localizable. I will also include a
>> single-direction relicensing clause converting the localizable variant to
>> its base license. My current project is an l10n-3BSDL, will also have
>> l10n-2BSDL (converts down to both 2-clause BSDL and MIT), l10n-Apache2,
>> l10n-LGPL3 and l10n-GPL3 forks.
>> Sent from my iPhone
>> > On 2013年10月21日, at 21:29, David Woolley <forums at david-woolley.me.uk>
>> wrote:
>> >
>> >> On 21/10/13 07:39, Maxthon Chan wrote:
>> >>
>> >>
>> >> There is a project, Creative Commons, that focuses on providing free
>> >> license for art, music and works alike. They tackled the localisation
>> >> issue well, by providing localised licenses that is interchangeable
>> with
>> >
>> > No they don't.  All the licences seem to be in English.  What is
>> localised is the lay person's summary of the licence.  E.g., the Chinese
>> summary of CC-BY-SA, is <
>> http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.zh>, but the first
>> link on that page (法律文本(许可协议全文)), <
>> http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/legalcode>, points to the
>> English language text of the actual licence.
>> >
>> >> each other, even in the copyleft variants.However Creative Commons does
>> >> not work well with software. I can CC license my documentations but not
>> >> the software itself.
>> >
>> >> I would like to know your opinions on a localisable open source
>> license.
>> >
>> > In general, a translation of a licence is a different licence, because
>> one cannot exactly translate from one language to another.  In fact, one
>> could probably argue that choice of law needs to be specified, as well.
>> >
>> > Although Creative Commons have chosen to create the lay versions of the
>> licence, I suspect many open source drafters would not want to do so,
>> because users might believe that the summary is the licence.
>> >
>> >
>> > _______________________________________________
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> --
> Patrice-Emmanuel Schmitz
> pe.schmitz at googlemail.com
> tel. + 32 478 50 40 65
> _______________________________________________
> License-discuss mailing list
> License-discuss at opensource.org
> http://projects.opensource.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/license-discuss
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