[License-discuss] Views on React licensing?

Lawrence Rosen lrosen at rosenlaw.com
Tue Dec 6 22:49:41 UTC 2016

OSD #7 has something to say about an "additional license" being needed for software:


7. Distribution of License

The rights attached to the program must apply to all to whom the program is redistributed without the need for execution of an additional license by those parties.


I assumed "the rights" referred to here are only "copyright rights." Before OSI approved a license in the old days, some government agencies and universities complained because they had other, more complicated, patent rights to distribute that might require or engage "additional" non-copyright licenses. At that time, nobody insisted that an open source license also include patent rights.  


We never fully thought that through, which is why we are still talking about this problem for government and university software years later!


As a customer, I personally would prefer an explicit patent license within my open source copyright license. I like Apache's patent provision for that reason. I would like governments and universities to patent things only on the assumption that both copyright and patent rights will explicitly be licensed under a single OSI-approved license so that the software can be useful as well as open.


Am I reading this OSD #7 correctly? Would the dear departed Antonin Scalia have considered this the "original intent" of the authors of that one-sentence OSD #7 provision?






-----Original Message-----
From: License-discuss [mailto:license-discuss-bounces at opensource.org] On Behalf Of Tzeng, Nigel H.
Sent: Tuesday, December 6, 2016 1:01 PM
To: henrik.ingo at avoinelama.fi
Cc: license-discuss at opensource.org
Subject: Re: [License-discuss] Views on React licensing?


On 12/6/16, 3:33 PM, " <mailto:henrik.ingo at gmail.com%20on%20behalf%20of%20Henrik%20Ingo> henrik.ingo at gmail.com on behalf of Henrik Ingo"

< <mailto:henrik.ingo at gmail.com%20on%20behalf%20of%20henrik.ingo at avoinelama.fi> henrik.ingo at gmail.com on behalf of henrik.ingo at avoinelama.fi> wrote:



>The question isn't about patents or copyrights. The point is that 

>taking an OSI approved license and making additions to it by adding a 

>separate file with additional terms and conditions, results in a 

>combination which as a whole is not OSI approved open source license. 

>It is no different from taking the BSD license and making additions to 

>it within the same file.


In what way is the BSD copyright license impacted by an external patent grant license?


How is this different than combining a BSD copyright license and an external trademark license agreement?


IMHO it has everything to do with whether patents are in or out of scope for OSI license approval for copyright licenses.


>I categorize patent grants with wide reaching termination clauses as 

>commons-friendly. Like I said, my only regret is that there aren¹t 

>licenses being used that would be even more wide reaching than this one.


That¹s fine as long as there are open source licenses with far more narrow grants or no grants whatsoever like CC0.


CC0->ECL v2->Apache->React should all be fine from a OSI license 





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