License Committee Report for September 2008

Bruce Perens bruce at
Tue Nov 4 17:45:03 UTC 2008

Alex Wang wrote:
> Futhermore, GPL conflicts with the "modifiable" part of that sentence because a very large set of potential modifications(business software) become an act of copyright infringement under GPL license.
This is saying that a program is not freely usable, modifiable, and 
redistributable unless its license permits the combination of that 
program with another program that is /not/ freely usable, modifiable, 
and redistributable, to create a result that is not freely usable, 
modifiable, and redistributable. Some people agree with that. Not everybody.

The OSD was written to allow the GPL and a number of other licenses that 
existed at that time.
> We are in China and can not find any attorney who understands Open Source as you required.
I am not in a position to require anything. I am stating that you have 
so far failed to gain acceptance by the OSI board - and I am not a 
member of that board - because you don't have the services of such an 
attorney. I would have thought that Surisen and the other companies 
involved could afford to use the services of Mr. Updegrove or another 
attorney remotely, via email. I don't think it is necessary for him to 
practice Chinese law to solve this problem. I often use attorneys who 
are not allowed to practice law in my state.
> We [...] are hurt by the refusal from open source community, because you said our endeavor would have NEGATIVE effect!
I am supportive of your desire to release Open Source software. I am 
sure that you are wonderful programmers and standards writers. You are 
not yet as wonderful at creating Open Source licenses. That is the only 
> P.S. We adopt advice from someone among you, remove the term that requires
> read/write document via UOML only from UOML license.
Yes, that would most likely solve the problem. You then have one 
remaining issue: the license that remains after you remove that term 
would be so similar to other licenses that are already approved that the 
board would probably tell you to use one of those other licenses.



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