[License-discuss] Ethical + Support license addition for Apache

Russell McOrmond russellmcormond at gmail.com
Fri Aug 9 13:42:16 UTC 2019

On Fri, Aug 9, 2019 at 6:46 AM Johnny A. Solbu <johnny at solbu.net> wrote:

> Then you are effectively demanding registration.
> That is still not allowed in Free and Open Source software, meaning, that
> makes it Not Free and Open Source.
> I belive the Free Software Foundation would even call it proprietary.
> I imagine most of the partitipants on this list would refuse to use
> software that require them to register in order to use it.

The FSF rejected the RPL
https://www.gnu.org/licenses/license-list.en.html#RPL : "2. It requires
notification of the original developer for publication of a modified
version. 3. It requires publication of any modified version that an
organization uses, even privately."

In Ofer's license proposal this is registration of mere usage, not
registration of publication (public disclosure) of modified versions, so is
even less likely to be accepted by the FSF.

I'm wondering if anyone can help explain to me what they see as the
difference between the forced public disclosure of private modifications of
software, and registration of mere usage, private modification, or public
discloseof software? All of these involve the forced disclose of private

While I believe that there would be consensus on registration making
software non-FLOSS, there appears to be a growing divide on forced public
disclosure (and not strictly between the FSF and OSI, given the FSF has
granted approval to licenses which cross the line of forced public
disclosure of private activities).

I agree that the outcome may seem different for those focused on source
code disclosure, but the argument seems similar.  In policy discussions
(and licenses are part of a policy discussion, whether people recognise it
or not) a bad argument can set precedent that can be used for different
(possibly opposing) outcomes. We need to be careful about unintended
consequences and not narrowly on the disclosed intent.
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