[License-discuss] comprehensiveness (or not) of the OSI-approved list

John Cowan cowan at ccil.org
Thu May 23 03:03:13 UTC 2019

On Wed, May 22, 2019 at 10:19 PM Rick Moen <rick at linuxmafia.com> wrote:

> A limiting example can illustrate why:  Today, I declare that a codebase
> is 2-clause BSD licensed.  I post tarballs with compiled binaries.
> [...]
> Is that software covered by an open source licence?  Absolutely.  Is the
> software open source?  Not really until someone finds a source tree.
> Why?

Because OSD #2 specifically forbids it: software whose source is not
not Open Source by definition.

> Hypothetical #2:  Now that someone has found the missing source code, it
> transpires that its algorithms are encumbered by strongly asserted
> patent rights (let's say, 'RAND' terms) in the Kingdom of Ruritania, and
> nowhere else.  The newly discovered Ruthenian patent will expire
> December 31, 2019.
> With this revelation, is my open source code _still_ open source?

Well, it's at least more debatable, because there is no clause like
#2 that relates to the absence of patent rights.  There probably
doesn't exist source code against which *some* patent claim
can't be asserted, and whether it succeeds has more to do
with who can afford to pay their lawyers longer.

Latveria obviously doesn't have submarines, since Doomstadt
is the eighth city of the Siebenburg (Saxon Transylvania).

John Cowan          http://vrici.lojban.org/~cowan        cowan at ccil.org
My confusion is rapidly waxing
For XML Schema's too taxing:
I'd use DTDs / If they had local trees --
I think I best switch to RELAX NG.
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