[License-discuss] Evolving the License Review process for OSI

Smith, McCoy mccoy.smith at intel.com
Tue May 28 18:50:34 UTC 2019

>>-----Original Message-----
>>From: License-discuss [mailto:license-discuss-bounces at lists.opensource.org] On Behalf Of Christopher Sean Morrison via License-discuss
>>Sent: Tuesday, May 28, 2019 11:08 AM
>>To: Christopher Sean Morrison via License-discuss <license-discuss at lists.opensource.org>
>>Cc: Christopher Sean Morrison <brlcad at mac.com>
>>Subject: Re: [License-discuss] Evolving the License Review process for OSI

>>>> If government lawyers believe they have a requirement for X and without X they won?t recommend open sourcing then providing them a license that provides X results in more open source code.  This is a good thing as long as X minimally meets the OSD.
>>> This is where your logic fails, and thank you for summarizing it so 
>>> well. Also, there is nothing particular about government needs in this 
>>> statement.  Commercial actors use this exact justification for 
>>> advancing their ideas of how open source should expand to meet their 
>>> needs.

>>Thank you for restating the underlying disagreement on the same false pretense.  Governments are subject to a plethora of different regulations and laws than commercial actors.  To claim or presume there are no requirements unique to Government seems quite fallacious.

And both with NOSA 2.0 and the recent LBNL BSD, questions on the list were asked about the "regulations and laws" that were dictating certain provisions in those licenses, and that an attorney from the agency that drafted these licenses respond to those questions:


As far as I can recall, there was no response to these inquiries.  Even just to say "this section of the CFR or similar government regulations is why we have to write our license this way."

I, for one, find the response "we have to do it this way, we're the government, believe us" unsatisfying, as someone who has spent a lot of time both as a government employee and parsing  through, committing to memory, and teaching people how to understand, at least one fairly dense government procedural manual:  https://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/pac/mpep/index.html

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