[License-discuss] For Public Comment: The Libre Source License

Moritz Maxeiner mm at ucw.sh
Thu Aug 8 19:44:49 UTC 2019

On Thursday, 8 August 2019 19:47:34 CEST Smith, McCoy wrote:
> This license still doesn't obligate provision of source code.

If you mean it doesn't require the person initially creating the software and 
putting it under this license, then yes, you're right that it doesn't. I am 
obviously not a lawyer (or of similar profession), but I don't know any other 
license that actually puts such a requirement on the initial author (the first 
person has to act in good faith).
If you mean it doesn't require subsequent modifications to be provided in 
source code: Why do you say that? Each change has to be published in its 
original form. If you make a change in source code, it has to be published in 
source code. If you make the change in something that isn't source code 
requiring source code to be published would be an impossible-to-fulfill 

> The patent grants are also inconsistent as between the preamble and the
> grant itself.

This is probably indeed due to me not having the required legal skill set, but 
I don't see it. Are you referring to

you may do everything with this software that would otherwise infringe [...] 
any patent claim any contributor can license that covers this software as of 
that contributor's latest contribution


You are granted a perpetual, universal, non-exclusive, no-charge, royalty-
free, irrevocable (except in the case of breaching the obligations listed in 
section 2) patent license for all patent claims covering contributions as 
embodied in this software and licensable by respective contributors without 
other scope limitations.

? If so, the wording is slightly different (and I have thought about 
sgnificantly reducing the preamble so there's only the two paragraphs below 
it), but I don't see how they are semantically different.

> You really should be working with a legal person on this if you're serious
> about it;

I'm serious in the sense that I see/have a need that isn't currently covered 
by any license I could find. If that changes I'll stop spending my time on 

> there are a lot of basic drafting issues and language
> inconsistencies in all the drafts you have presented so far on this mailing
> list.

Thank you for your candor.

> People of course are welcome to comment if they so choose but I'm
> not sure I see a reason for anyone to spend the time given these issues
> seem to persist as your drafts continue to evolve.

Without consulting a lawyer (which is on a todo list) I don't understand how 
you'd expect these issues to not persist between drafts without them being 
pointed out (though I do recognize, of course, that people may feel there's 
too much wrong for it to make sense for them to do so). To the best of my 
knowledge I've incorporated feedback where it was given in a way that enabled 
me to improve the license draft.
While I won't submit the license to the OSI for approval without it going 
through a lawyer beforehand I was under the impression (from the archives of 
the mailing list) that this kind of discussion is what it's for.
If I have misunderstood the ML's purpose, I apologize.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: License-discuss [mailto:license-discuss-bounces at lists.opensource.org]
> On Behalf Of Moritz Maxeiner Sent: Thursday, August 8, 2019 10:17 AM
> To: license-discuss at lists.opensource.org
> Subject: [License-discuss] For Public Comment: The Libre Source License
> Due to the acronym clash I've now renamed from Contribution Public License
> (CPL) to Libre Source License (LSL). I've also slightly reordered the
> license text for (what I think makes for) easier reading. Attached in
> plaintext is the new draft.
> Thanks for your time,
> Moritz
> On Saturday, 3 August 2019 23:48:38 CEST you wrote:
> > Hello,
> > 
> > due to me being unable to find a reciprocal software license I'm truly
> > happy with I've been working on developing my own:
> > 
> > https://github.com/MoritzMaxeiner/contribution-public-license/blob/mas
> > ter/
> > LICENSE.org
> > 
> > I would - eventually - like to submit the license for OSI approval,
> > but thought sharing it here, with this mailing list's audience, in
> > order to gather feedback beforehand would be prudent.
> > The current draft is attached in plain text as LICENSE.txt and the
> > license it in turn is under (due to it being derived from the Patches
> > Back Public
> > License) is attached in plain text as CHANGING.
> > 
> > What I wanted was a license that's as close as possible in spirit to
> > the MIT license, except requiring any modifications to the software to
> > be contributed back to the public under the same license.
> > After looking over the list of OSI-approved licenses there were three
> > I could identify as being close to what I want, so here are my reasons
> > as to why they aren't satisfactory for me:
> > 
> > Reciprocal Public License (RPL-1.5):
> > It's not only too long and complex for my purposes, but it also
> > explicitly defers arbitration to Colorado, USA, which I cannot accept.
> > 
> > Eiffel Forum License, Version 2
> > While being sensibly short and concise it only encourages - but does
> > not require - modified versions to be publicly released.
> > 
> > Microsoft Reciprocal License (MS-RL)
> > It's copy-left for things such as static linking, containers, etc.
> > (section 3, paragraph A) and it deals with patents and trademarks.
> > 
> > I hope the above highlights that there's a particular niche that's not
> > quite filled yet.
> > 
> > Thank you for your time,
> > 
> >   Moritz
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