[License-discuss] Is the OBM License OSD compatible?

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Fri Jan 6 10:55:17 UTC 2017

Quoting Gervase Markham (gerv at mozilla.org):

> That page says:
> "OBM is an Free and Open Source messaging and collaboration software,
> distributed under the GNU Affero GPL v3 License terms, with Additional
> Terms pursuant to Section 7 of said license."
> Which is good, because nothing other than Section 7 allows them to add
> additional terms of any sort to the license (see section 10).
> Section 7 says:
> "When you convey a copy of a covered work, you may at your option remove
> any additional permissions from that copy, or from any part of it."
> So if you are concerned about the OSD-compliance of the additional
> terms, you can simply remove them when you redistribute it. Problem solved.

Would that it were so.  Lingora characterise their additions near the top as
'Additional Terms pursuant to Section 7 of said license', and clearly
intend this to refer _not_ to additional permissions, but rather to 
this bit slightly further on, in 7b):

  Notwithstanding any other provision of this License, for material you
  add to a covered work, you may (if authorized by the copyright holders
  of that material) supplement the terms of this License with terms:
  b) Requiring preservation of specified reasonable legal notices or
  author attributions in that material or in the Appropriate Legal 
  Notices displayed by works containing it;

> You do need to obey section 5 about Appropriate Legal Notices. However,
> Section 0 of the AGPL defines what can be considered an Appropriate
> Legal Notice; anything which Linagora attempts to define as such which
> does not meet that definition can be said not to be an Appropriate Legal
> Notice.

Indeed.  This is why I called it an abuse of the intent of section 7.

Were I hauled into court on copyright infringement for failure to comply
with the badgeware requirement, that is what I would argue, but like
other SaaS firms pulling this trick with GPLv3 and AGPLv3's 'Additional
Terms' clauses, they are trying to have their way through assertion
rather than adjudication.

Cheers,              "To me, it's a good idea to always carry two sacks of 
Rick Moen            something, when you walk around.  That way, if anybody 
rick at linuxmafia.com  says 'Hey, can you give me a hand?', you can say 'Sorry,
McQ! (4x80)          got these sacks.'"      -- Deep Thoughts by Jack Handy

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