For approval: MXM Public license

Tzeng, Nigel H. Nigel.Tzeng at
Fri Apr 10 13:49:26 UTC 2009

>From: Matthew Flaschen [mailto:matthew.flaschen at] 

>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

If it sounded that way then I worded it poorly.  I think have clearly
stated my position since.

>> 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

I disagree.  The area that would be relaxed for reference/academic licenses
is one aspect of OSD#6...namely for non-commercial use.  Given that the
rationale for OSD #6 is "We want commercial users to join our community, 
not feel excluded from it." and it is primarily commercial users that want
such a limitation then calling it Reference Licenses vs open would clearly
indicate that these licenses are not open source, BUT meets the OSD in all
other areas except for one aspect of OSD#6 and standardizes the terminology
so that no confusing term (like shared source) needs to be used to describe
this kind of code.

The FSF is savvy in its understanding that controlling the definition of the
words used in the discussion is important.  I just think they go a bit

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

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

All current CC licenses allow the core right to redistribute a work
for non-commercial purposes without modification.  But you also don't
NEED to say anything about all CC licenses.  The license banners are
very clear in your rights and obligations.

We simply have a subset of CC licenses: Attribution alone and Attribution
+ ShareAlike.

>> 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."

BY-NC-SA - Attribution + Non-Commercial + ShareAlike.

Simple and clear, no?  CC doesn't have some of the same issues and concerns
we do and but the system seems reasonably clear and they have addressed
both proliferation and interoperability by standardization.

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

Not if the license arbiter says "out of my jurisdiction".

>> 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.

Currently.  I doubt the CC would really want to alienate the FSF again
so soon but they might wrap the MXM license like they did for GPL/LGPL and 

But really, even if we do not want a new license category wouldn't it be 
nice if the OSI did the wrapping in the same kind of clear manner for license
categories?  Permissive, Strong-Copyleft, Weak-Copyleft and Special Purpose 
are some that easily come to mind.

I guess we've moved into the license-discuss realm so I'll stop here.  If
you'd like to continue, let's do so there.

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