[License-discuss] Request for Comment: Software and Development License, version 3.0

Josh Berkus josh at berkus.org
Mon Jan 29 19:13:14 UTC 2024

On 1/28/24 11:47, Alec Bloss wrote:
> The Software and Development License was created to fill what
> was perceived as a void in open-source licenses. The GPL licenses, while
> great, can and have caused unnecessary incompatibilities with other open-
> source licenses. On the other end, the BSD licenses, while widely
> compatible, are very permissive and do not have some of the protections
> provided in other licenses. The SADL aims to be widely compatible while
> still maintaining some protections.

This "middle road" was the goal of both the Apache and Mozilla licenses. 
  While you've taken a different tack on it, it might be worth thinking 
about how APL/MPL approached it and why.

More comments:

1. There's no patent grant in this license.

2. The AI/ML permission clause is interesting, but likely unenforceable. 
  The courts will let us know in the future.

3. The provision for using "3.0 or later" of the SADL necessarily 
requires that their be an authority to determine what is an official 
version of the SADL, which will need to be part of the license.

4. The linking language is clearly intended to prevent this license from 
being incompatible with other open source licenses (IANAL, so I can't 
say if it works).  However, that's not bidirectional; other OSS licenses 
will still be incompatible with this one due to *their* terms.  Also, 
F.2. would be incompatible with several licenses.

5. That linking language would work with proprietary and 
domain-restricted licenses as well, as long as those permit 
redistribution of source.  While that's not necessarily a blocker to 
approval, you might want to think through the implications.

6. It seems weird to call the first release of a new license "3.0".

Josh Berkus

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