For Approval: The netX Public Lisense (in plain text)

Matthew Flaschen matthew.flaschen at
Wed Oct 6 19:19:45 UTC 2010

Christian Solmecke wrote:
> Dear Mr. Nelson, Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,
> On behalf of our client Hilscher Gesellschaft für Systemaustomation
> mbH, Rheinstraße 15, 65795 Hattersheim/ Germany (license steward), we
> hereby provide you with a formal request for Approval of a new Open
> Source License (netX Public License). We have already sent you this
> Approval request twice, on Septemer 7, 2010 and on October 4, 2010.
> To ensure the proper reception of the approval and the relevant
> documents, we hereby transmit it to you again in plain text format.

The license seems fine with a few exceptions:

1. The requirement to submit changes directly to the licensor.  As noted
by Tom and Bruce, this is burdensome and technology-specific.

2. It is strongly encouraged to templatize the license for easy reuse.
In other words, replace specific references to your company or website
with general placeholders:

"" -> <WEBSITE>

3. NetX is already used for a couple of programs, at least one
( of which seems to be completely
unaffiliated.  Perhaps you can rename it to

Industrial NETworX Public License

or something else.

4.  This is not a legal issue, but the English translation is difficult
to read, due to odd constructions like:

"However, a communication on an eye level can only be successful"

Perhaps it should say "communication on an equal footing"

"the text of the Program, readable by humans written in programming

Perhaps "the text of the Program, written in a programming language, and
readable by humans.  Or you could just borrow the GPL's definition,
which is simple and effective ("the preferred form of the work for
making modifications to it")

"the author respectively the authors or any other holder of the
exclusive utilisation rights to the Program."

Perhaps "the author, authors, and holders of exclusive utilisation
rights to the Program."

Several of the definitions have verbs on the left, but nouns on the
right.  E.g.:

"To modify: any alteration"

I suggest you have an editor or translator look at it.

Matthew Flaschen

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