For Approval: Transitive Grace Period Public Licence, v1.0

Tzeng, Nigel H. Nigel.Tzeng at
Thu Feb 19 16:58:13 UTC 2009

>On Thu, Feb 19, 2009 at 11:06 AM, Tzeng, Nigel H. <Nigel.Tzeng at<mailto:Nigel.Tzeng at>> wrote:
The time period should not be variable but some agreed upon balance between potential business needs and common good.  A pragmatic question that will ultimately be "arbitrary" but hopefully based on consensus what is, in fact, reasonable.  Postulating 12 seconds or 12 years is unhelpful except as an exercise in reductio ad absurdum.

>I disagree.  There are many very earnest Quakers who simply cannot bring themselves to join the open
>source movement because they refuse to contribute to something that they cannot restrict from being used to
>kill other people.

>You may think the less of a Quaker because they join the open source movement anyway, or you may think the
>more of them.   But the fact is that the unrestricted use permissions granted by the OSD are a Big Deal to some
>people.  But again, the OSD was drafted as it was specifically because we did not want to make the OSI some
>moral arbiter in what was or was not acceptable use, even though killing people is something most of us find
>utterly abhorent.

>The 12 month period is perfectly arbitrary, and would put the OSI in an impossible position of agreeing to one
>business convenience while disallowing others.  It's not our role to provide such convenience, but rather to uphold
>the standards of the open source community, in discussions like these, and ensure that if we approve something, it
>conforms to those standards.  I don't like the idea of creating exceptions to those standards, even for a period of
>limited time, even for a business that is doing worthwhile things.


OSD #6 Rationale: The major intention of this clause is to prohibit license traps that prevent open source from being used commercially. We want commercial users to join our community, not feel excluded from it.  (Even if Quakers do feel excluded as a result)

I am curious though, why you think that a license that permits the time period for source release to be infinite (ie BSD) to be less of a business convenience than one that stipulates that the time period must be no more than 1 year.

Re-reading the OSD just now, I think my earlier suggestions might run afoul of OSD #10.  Perhaps the modification should just be "source code not immediately released must be escrowed to ensure future release".

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