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

Pamela Chestek pamela at chesteklegal.com
Thu Aug 8 19:55:16 UTC 2019

I agree with McCoy. "Grants" and "obligations" aren't necessarily
separate concepts. I can say "I grant you a license with a scope of XYZ"
or I can say "I grant you a license" and under "obligations" say "You
can't use it outside the scope of XYZ." These have the same result but
are stated different ways. As currently written your grants and
obligations are inconsistent.

Under US law, it's probably better to make your grants conditional
rather than state the desired result as a separate obligation. For
example, if you say "you are granted a license provided you give the
licensee a copy of the source code," the failure to provide source code
is more likely to be considered a copyright infringement. If you say
"You are granted a license." "You have an obligation to provide source
code." it is more likely that the court will sever the two and not
consider the failure to provide source code a copyright infringement,
just a breach of contract.

These are things a lawyer can help you with.


Pamela S. Chestek
Chestek Legal
PO Box 2492
Raleigh, NC 27602
pamela at chesteklegal.com

On 8/8/2019 1:47 PM, Smith, McCoy wrote:
> This license still doesn't obligate provision of source code.
> The patent grants are also inconsistent as between the preamble and the grant itself.
> You really should be working with a legal person on this if you're serious about it; there are a lot of basic drafting issues and language inconsistencies in all the drafts you have presented so far on this mailing list.  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.
> -----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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