For approval: MXM Public license

Chuck Swiger chuck at
Wed Apr 8 18:06:37 UTC 2009

Hi, Carlo--

On Apr 8, 2009, at 10:10 AM, Carlo Piana wrote:
> If the answer is "in order to be OSI certified the license should  
> grant
> -- explicitly or implicitly -- the right to use the patented stuff in
> it", then the discussion is over because the avoidance of such  
> licensing
> has been chartered to the license since the beginning, and thus  
> there is
> *no* way to produce an ISO/IEC reference implementation under an OSI
> certified license.
> I guess this should be reflected in the OSD, though, not only in the
> opinion of the discussants.

It is-- see OSD #1 & #7, although the notion that an open source  
license must convey all needed permissions to use as well as modify  
and redistribute changes to the software being licensed is pretty  
fundamental.  As you said in your initial message:

"As you will notice, we have removed some of the patent conditions that
existed in the MPL. This is because none of the contributors would have
accepted to encapsulate their patents in a FOSS license without the
ability to ask for a license separately from the copyright."

If these contributors explicitly intend to require (or retain the  
capability to require) a separate license for their patented material,  
which is not already conveyed by the MXM, then that contradicts OSD #7:

"Distribution of License
The rights attached to the program must apply to all to whom the  
program is redistributed without the need for execution of an  
additional license by those parties."

...and suggests that the contributors don't really intend to open- 
source their stuff in the first place.  Some of the other terms, such  
as in MXM 2.1: "Patent Covenant is however extended to the compilation  
and use of a compiled version (as Executable) of this software for  
study and evaluation purposes only, with the exclusion of distribution  
of compiled code or any other commercial exploitation."

...confirm this impression, as this contradicts OSD #6.  Accordingly,  
I recommend rejection of the MXM.


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