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

Smith, McCoy mccoy.smith at intel.com
Fri Jan 6 17:09:20 UTC 2017

A point of potential pedantry or careful license interpretation:

GPLv3 (and the variants, LGPLv3 and AGPLv3) do *not* permit "Additional Terms" (despite the section header called "Additional Terms");  they permit "Additional Permissions" which are defined in the license, Sec 7, as "terms that supplement the terms of this License *by making exceptions from one or more of its conditions*."

"Additional Permissions" are a subset of additional terms, additional terms also includes the subets of additional restrictions and additional obligations.  The latter two subsets in all or almost all circumstances do not intersect.

I suspect most folks who have carefully studied the *GPLv3 licenses (or were involved in the writing of it) would be of the opinion that a bolted on requirement to provide specific notices at specific times or in specific ways (aka "Badgeware") is not an "Additional Permission" per those licenses.

But there are several folks on this list who were so involved in the *GPLv3 writing and revision process who can correct me if they think I'm misreading things.
-----Original Message-----
From: License-discuss [mailto:license-discuss-bounces at opensource.org] On Behalf Of Gervase Markham
Sent: Friday, January 06, 2017 2:07 AM
To: license-discuss at opensource.org
Subject: Re: [License-discuss] Is the OBM License OSD compatible?

On 06/01/17 03:48, Marc Laporte wrote:
> The OBM license is AGPL 3 + "Additional Terms":
> http://obm.org/content/obm-license

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.

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.

Once you have worked out what the Appropriate Legal Notices actually are, you have all the freedoms given you by sections 0 and 5 about how, where and when to actually display them.


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