License Committee Report for September 2008

Alex Wang alexwang at
Tue Nov 4 16:43:38 UTC 2008

 Hi Bruce,

How about a $100 donation? It conflicts the rule of donation because a very
large population of potential poor man are unable to benefit from it.
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.
$100 donation would have a negative effect, because actions based on it
would very heavily restrict the effect.

We are in China and can not find any attorney who understands Open Source as
you required. We have to study the open source licenses ourself, use
attorney who knows open source little. We try to embrace open source
community, but are hurt by the refusal from open source community, because
you said our endeavor would have NEGATIVE effect! Maybe our endeavor have
not enough positive effect as you want, but never negative! You prevent
public to get free software instead of business one, and said that this will
archieve the goal of open source, it is you who negative to open source
community, as refuse $100 donation!


P.S. We adopt advice from someone among you, remove the term that requires
read/write document via UOML only from UOML license.
-----Original Message-----
From: Bruce Perens [mailto:bruce at] 
Sent: Monday, November 03, 2008 4:05 AM
To: Wang Donglin
Cc: 'Russ Nelson'; 'allison shi'; license-review at;
Subject: Re: License Committee Report for September 2008

Wang Donglin wrote
> 1. What is goal of open source?
The shortest statement I can make of the goal is to have software that is
freely usable, modifiable, and redistributable.

Your currently proposed license conflicts with the "modifiable" part of that
sentence because a very large set of potential modifications become an act
of copyright infringement under your license.

The Open Source definition is not just a rule set, it's a manifesto. It
states our goal. Your proposed license very clearly conflicts with it.
> 2. Does our endeavor help or against the goal?
Your endeavor would have a negative effect, because software under your
license would very heavily restrict the further development of any software
that uses it.

Currently there is nothing in your license that even permits reading or
writing of documents that are not UOML, ever again, by any application that
links in your software. This means that it's not just out of compliance with
the rules. It's badly written and impractical.
> If something is in favor of the goal, but forbidden by the rule, we should
update the rule.
Yes, but this applies equally to you. To achieve your goal, modify the
license. The goal of Open Source is being achieved by rejecting licenses
that are badly written and impractical.

In April, I recommended to you an attorney who was the chairman of OASIS and
who could help you understand Open Source licensing. I can not determine,
from looking at this license, if you have made use of any attorney at all,
and you have certainly not made use of an attorney who understands Open
> We encourage extensions, the only requirement is UOML conformance. This
requirement is not a barrier in the way of progress.
Are you saying that writing a file with an extension that a current UOML
reader would not understand is acceptable? There is certainly no language to
this effect in the license.

In contrast, I can make a modification to OpenOffice that is incompatible
with OpenDocument. That modification will be fully disclosed because of the
rights granted through the GPL. Others will be able to make use of it in GPL
programs, and people who do not have GPL programs will be able to read the
code and understand the file format, so that they can implement compatible
changes to their own program.



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