For Approval: Transitive Grace Period Public Licence, v1.0
zooko at zooko.com
Sun Feb 1 04:23:20 UTC 2009
Thanks to Russ Nelson and Bruce Perens for their recent responses.
The idea that you two have suggested, to express the terms of the
Transitive Grace Period Public Licence in terms of the OSL 3.0, plus
an added clause, plus perhaps added waivers transferred directly from
the holder of copyright on the original work to recipients of the
derived work, is an interesting idea. I would, of course, welcome
help from the experts of the OSI in crafting future versions of the
Transitive Grace Period Public Licence. Software has already been
distributed under the Transitive Grace Period Public Licence version
1.0, but I don't anticipate that anyone would object to granting
their rights under a newer version, so compatibility between TGPPL v1
and a future version of the TGPPL will hopefully not be a problem.
However, even if I were to publish a new version of the Transitive
Grace Period Public Licence, and even if it were constructed along
the lines that you prefer, this would not reduce the OSI's burden of
including the Transitive Grace Period Public Licence in the list of
OSD-conformant licences, nor would it reduce the licence
proliferation problem, nor the problem of mutually incompatible
licences. Therefore, there is no advantage in withholding
certification of OSD-conformance from the Transitive Grace Period
Public Licence v1.0 in anticipation of a future version of the licence.
Me: "Here's some software I wrote. You can use it under this licence."
Him: "How do I know that your licence is open source?"
Me: "Well, it is just the OSL 3.0 plus an added clause."
Him: "That doesn't prove that it is open source! Your added clause
could have legal effects which render your licence non-Open-Source.
I'm not going to believe that it is open source unless I can look it
up on the OSI's list of OSD-conformant licences and see that they say
that it is open source."
It is vitally important that people do not conflate TGPPL with OSL.
We do not want people to choose to use code under the TGPPL thinking
incorrectly that they can subsequently release their derived works
under the OSL. They ought to understand at the beginning that they
are being granted the right to distribute a derived work while
withholding the source of that derived work for up to twelve months,
*on the condition* that they extend the same grant of rights to all
transitive recipients of their derived work. This is the reason why
the TGPPL exists a licence at all instead of simply being a grant of
a waiver from some copyright holder to some recipient -- because it
Because of Problem #1 and Problem #2, the licence is not going to be
called "Open Source License v3.0 plus the Transitive Grace Period
Waiver Clause", it will continue to be named "the Transitive Grace
Period Public Licence". Therefore, the fellow from Problem #1, if he
were to find some software on an FTP site, err I mean on a web site,
under the Transitive Grace Period Public Licence, would look it up in
the OSI's list under T for TGPPL, not under "OSL plus added clauses".
Because of Problem #2, the TGPPL cannot be licence-compatible with
the OSL nor with the GPL. This is very unfortunate, and I deeply
wish that it were possible to have GPL-compatibility while retaining
the TGPPL's core, but barring changes to the GPL, it isn't.
Therefore, while the idea of writing a new version of the TGPPL based
on re-use of the unmodified OSLv3.0 is an interesting idea that I
would be willing to explore, it would not relieve the OSI of the
responsibility of attesting to the OSD-conformance of the TGPPL, nor
would it solve the problem of licence-incompatibility between TGPPL
and OSL or between TGPPL and GPL. Therefore, there is no benefit in
withholding the OSI's stamp of OSD-conformance from TGPPLv1 while
awaiting TGPPLv2, and I hereby renew my request that OSI include the
TGPPLv1 in the list of OSD-conformant licences.
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