[License-discuss] Proposed license decision process

Kevin P. Fleming kevin+osi at km6g.us
Fri Dec 28 12:38:29 UTC 2018

One of my colleagues (who strongly prefers public domain dedications
and permissive licenses) recently indicated to me that in his opinion
as a software author, the obligation to distribute source code
qualified as 'consideration', since it requires a tangible (to some
degree) action on the part of the licensee. I had never thought about
it this way, but I can definitely see how someone could arrive at that
conclusion, and this seems to align with Florian's concern.

On Thu, Dec 27, 2018 at 9:14 AM Florian Weimer <fw at deneb.enyo.de> wrote:
> * Lawrence Rosen:
> > But let us nevertheless agree on a pragmatic definition of "open
> > source software".
> > “Open source software” means software actually distributed under terms
> > that grant a copyright and patent license from all contributors to the
> > software for every licensee to access and use the complete source
> > code, make copies of the software or derivative works thereof and,
> > without payment of royalties or other consideration, to distribute the
> > unmodified or modified software.
> I think “consideration” is a bad word, it's difficult to understand
> for those of us who were not brought up in the English legal
> tradition.
> I'd be worried that “no other consideration” would exclude copyleft
> licenses, or more broadly speaking, licenses that use copyright as a
> tool to get the licensee to perform any additional action that is not
> inherently tied to exploitation of the copyright itself.
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