[License-discuss] OSL, Apache and PrestaShop

Lawrence Rosen lrosen at rosenlaw.com
Fri Nov 8 15:36:13 UTC 2019

Dear Antoine,


I saw your posting on license-discuss@ and read your email below. You are perfectly right: There is no problem aggregating Apache and OSL code. Both licenses allow it. I stand completely by my earlier blog posting on this topic.


I remain surprised that there was any reluctance even for non-lawyers to confirm that on license-discuss at . Both licenses are perfectly clear that only derivative works of OSL must be released under the OSL, and ASL doesn't care at all. 


Best regards, Larry


Lawrence Rosen

Rosenlaw ( <http://www.rosenlaw.com/> www.rosenlaw.com) 

LinkedIn: LawrenceRosen

3001 King Ranch Rd., Ukiah, CA 95482

Cell: 707-478-8932 

This email is licensed under  <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/> CC-BY-4.0. Please copy freely.  


From: Antoine Thomas <antoine.thomas at prestashop.com> 
Sent: Friday, November 8, 2019 4:28 AM
To: lrosen at rosenlaw.com
Subject: OSL, Apache and PrestaShop


Dear Lawrence,


I am contacting you for in the past, you have answered an interview about the OSL and the AFL published on PrestaShop blog (https://www.prestashop.com/en/blog/interview-lawrence-rosen-author-open-software-licence)


In this interview, you state that, I quote, "The OSL/AFL licenses intend to eliminate such confusion. These licenses do not affect independently written code at all, no matter how aggregated." And, at PrestaShop, we would need to have a few precisions.


To give you a bit of context, I am currently working for the PrestaShop company, and I do my best to study and improve the maturity of the PrestaShop project, with the support of our legal team, the developers, and other teams. One of the big taks is the legal compliance: this topic is more and more important today, because more and more companies want to use open source software, but they don't want to take risks for their business. So, after a review of the license all the dependencies and sub-dependencies of the project, we found that most are distributed with MIT or BSD. 


However, there are a few libraries distributed with the Apache v2 license, and, currently, we are not sure if this is ok to ship them in the PrestaShop installer. We know that Magento, who uses OSL too, are shipping Apache v2 libraries, like some from Elastic. So, it might be good. But, our legal team can't find a clear confirmation that this is possible, and that it does not represent a compliance failure.


When I read your interview, and other documents about OSL, my feeling is that the OSL allows to distribute the code with any aggregated software (e.g dependencies), and does not require to change their license. And that, of course, only derivative work of the code in OSL must be in OSL. But, I am not a lawyer, and our legal team is looking for a clear statement.


That is why, recently, I sent a question about this problem to the OSI mailing list, where the answer was, to make it short: "ask a lawyer". Then, I thought that you were certainly the best person to confirm what is the right way to aggregate libraries in an OSL project, and what are the compatible licenses. And so, in a way, that would also clarify what you told in this old interview.


So, if you could provide some clarification in an answer, or links to already existing resources, that would be a great help for the PrestaShop project and its users.


Of course, if you need more details or information, please let know. I will be available.


Looking forward to hearing from you,





Antoine Thomas aka ttoine

Developer Advocate

t: +33 (0)6 63 13 79 06

 <mailto:antoine.thomas at prestashop.com> antoine.thomas at prestashop.com



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