For approval: MXM Public license

Matthew Flaschen matthew.flaschen at
Fri Apr 10 12:31:05 UTC 2009

Tzeng, Nigel H. wrote:
> If this were absolutely true (the waters were not muddy) then there
> would not have been a second (or third?) generation of OSI-approved
> licenses with explicit patent grants.
> If implicit patent grants were crystal clear and provided all the
> protection required for open source why then almost all modern open 
> source licenses have explicit grants?

Because if nothing else, explicit grants are much easier to understand.

> Perhaps.  However, there appears to be licenses in the past without
> explicit grants of patents and explicitly do not grant trademarks. 

The OSD does not require that downstream users be able to use the same name.

> I'm not suggesting that.  I'm simply saying that the OSI has been 
> acknowledged as the arbiter of open source by ISO which should be giving
> some folks (at least those not so self-righteous in their indignation
> that someone would dare submit a license not up to spec) warm fuzzies.  

I have no problem whatsoever with a good-faith submission, nor with ISO
using OSI as their arbitrator.  I have a problem with your suggestion
that it ultimately doesn't matter what OSI does, so they might as well

> I would hope that the OSI would take the opportunity to say "yes, sorry, 
> this isn't open source but perhaps we should think about a category of 
> "reference software licenses".  This might be helpful to the community.

I think that would be unhelpful, and against the purpose of the

> However, Creative Commons has a wide range of licenses.

Such a wide range there's pretty much nothing you can say about all CC

> if the OSI simply shows ISO the hand they might go to CC and ask for a
wrapper on
> their site like for GPL v2.0, LGPL and BSD to clearly explain to developers 
> their rights and responsibilities under the MXM license.

What exactly would this plain-text description be.  "You have the right
to redistribute the program, but then you might get sued by the Licensor
for patent infringement anyway."

They can go to CC, though it seems a bit ridiculous to suddenly switch
your license arbitrator when you don't get your way.

> That's probably almost as good for them as OSI branding.  Yep, they sure
> are free to leave.  Do you really want them to?

If an OSD-compliant license is impossible, then that's the only choice.

Matt Flaschen

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