Request for approval: EUPL (European Union Public Licence)
matthew.flaschen at gatech.edu
Sat Mar 15 16:47:45 UTC 2008
Russ Nelson wrote:
> Matthew Flaschen writes:
> > In my opinion, it would be unwise of the OSI to approve the non-English
> > language versions at this time. This is because translation errors can
> > affect the meaning, the majority of the OSI board is only fluent in
> > English (as far as I know), and hiring independent translators familiar
> > with legal terms would be cost-prohibitive.
> > This means, "The European Commission may put into force translations"
> > must be removed. Particularly with the binding "new version" clause,
> > this is not satisfactory.
> You are correct, however, there are other potential solutions. For
> example, one solution would be to say that a licensee may switch
> between translation of a license.
But what if translation X, say, doesn't require providing source code?
Then, if someone gets code under the English translation and releases
their derivative work under translation X without source, the code
becomes non-free. That defeats the intention of the license. Even if
the recipient then switches to English, it's questionable whether they
can demand source code.
> That way, when we approve the English-language version, someone always has recourse to a license
> which is OSI-approved.
This also assumes the translation switching mechanism is correctly
written in all licenses.
> > That clause, stating that a "new version of the Licence becomes binding
> > for You as soon as You become aware of its publication."
> > allows you to make the license non-OSD compliant at any time, by putting
> > out a new version or translation.
> Yes, this clause is not acceptable. *I* could accept "new version of
> the License becomes finding for You as soon as You become aware of its
> approval by the OSI as an Open Source license." but I recognize that
> other people may feel differently.
I would still object to that, and I don't think OSI has approved such a
license. It would seem to run afoul of OSD #3, which says:
"and must allow them to be distributed under *the same terms as the
license of the original* software." [emphasis added]
> > First, I think that law is itself fairly draconian, and would have a
> > chilling effect if enforced. See for instance the unofficial Debian
> > Dissident Test (http://people.debian.org/~bap/dfsg-faq.html), which
> > says, "Consider a dissident in a totalitarian state who wishes to share
> > a modified bit of software with fellow dissidents, but does not wish to
> > reveal the identity of the modifier..."
> Free Software in a totalitarian state? Why don't we also imagine
> frozen steam at the same time?
I'd rather have free software in a totalitarian state than no free
software in a totalitarian state.
Anyway, the requirement shouldn't be written into the license.
> Sure it is. It's just a choice of legal systems, just a
> jurisdiction. Otherwise you're asking lawyers to draft a legal
> document without knowing what system of laws it will be subject to.
> Let's play a card game without Hoyle's and see if we can do it without
It's fine to specify EU law if the licensor is in Europe. But
otherwise, it should be the law of the licensor's residence.
More information about the License-review