[License-discuss] For Discussion: Cryptographic Autonomy License (CAL) Beta 2

Bruce Perens bruce at perens.com
Wed Aug 14 03:53:38 UTC 2019

On Tue, Aug 13, 2019 at 8:15 PM Russell McOrmond <russellmcormond at gmail.com>

> I am left puzzled how the Affero clauses, which also target SaaS (or what
> RMS likes to call Service as a Software Substitute - SaaSS), passed the
> OSD #6 test?

I wasn't around when this license was argued, so other folks can represent
what they thought at the time better than I.

That said, I would say because the only effect of the terms is to activate
the source code distribution requirement, which is considered to be a
fundamental purpose of Open Source. If you look at Larry Rosen's OSL terms
regarding "deploy", the explanation is the same.

the acceptance of that fear is leading parts of the movement to grasp for
> very proprietor-focused licensing tactics of ensuring that software authors
> (or more often copyright/patent owners) have a high level of control over
> software users when they are subjectively deemed "bad software users".

Yes. And I have Sunil Deshpande speaking at our conference, where he will
make the case for exactly that, and I will make the opposite case in my own
talk. In summary: do that if you want, but please don't call it Open
Source. I guess Heather is speaking too, she would make a gentler case for
Polyform, which they know not to call Open Source.

The more we accept the concept of "bad software users" as something that
> should be regulated in "open source" licenses, the less ability we will
> have to protect the software freedom of any software users.

Yes. I have been making this case for about 25 years, before there was Open
Source, and it was fundamental to why the OSD includes #5 and #6. The first
example I came to know, you've probably heard, was a Berkeley SPICE license
with terms regarding the police of South Africa, that persisted long after
the end of apartheid. Obviously I hated apartheid, it didn't seem very
different from the way that nazis had treated Jews. But I felt those terms
belonged elsewhere, and they still do today. Otherwise, we can start to
entertain anti-Trump and anti-Clinton licenses, etc. and it will get very
noisy fast.

It's within OSI the 501(c)3's purview to say that many social goals are
laudable while they do not belong in Open Source licensing. And that's the
end of *that* discussion on the mailing list. We all have each other's
personal emails if we wish to pursue the matter farther.


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