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

Carlo Piana osi-review at
Thu Oct 7 08:42:16 UTC 2010

Il 07/10/2010 10:32, Schmitz, Patrice-Emmanuel ha scritto:
> Andrew Wilson wrote:
>> Another question I would like to raise is the netX license's limitation of
>> liability.
>> A netX Licensor's limitation of liability is miniscule (to damages from
>> "intention and
>> gross negligence"), but there is a difference between miniscule and zero.
>> All the most common open source licenses come with
>> language in SCREAMING ALL CAPS which state that they come with
>> My concern -- and this is a question for the qualified attorneys on
>> this list -- would be whether even miniscule indemnification renders
>> netX incompatible with <insert your favorite permissive license>.
>> In concrete terms, I question whether you can combine netX with
>> BSD, Apache, or MIT-licensed code, since you receive no indemnification
>> at all from BSD/Apache/MIT licensors.
> [Schmitz, Patrice-Emmanuel] The questions of warranty and liability are really distinct from copyright. They could be subject of a separate agreement or be inserted in a specific section of the licence. In European countries, and especially in Germany, courts have invalidated general exclusions, and even exclusions "to the extend allowed by the law" are considered as unfair regarding contract & protection of consumers law. This is the reason why the OSI-approved European Union Public License for example, requests from authors and contributors a warranty of ownership (regarding their contribution) and does not exclude liability in case of wilful misconduct (for example, introducing a computer virus) and in case of damages to natural persons (imagine that you distribute software for managing a car ABS or an aircraft, and it causes a crash!). 
> IMO, none of the 10 OSI principles regulates or limit warranty or liability exclusions.
> P-E Schmitz -  

Patrice-Emmanuel is right IMHO, this is sort of a problem in Europe (and
in Italy not only to consumer, there is an express provisions that
forbids blanked liability disclaimer for willful and grossly negligent
acts), and it justifies the kind of limitation provided.

I agree with Bruce and Andy, this license is not suitable on other
grounds. The fact that imposes to contribute back the modifications is
directly a limitation to the right to use and modify the software, it is
not very different from imposing a price for the license.

With best regards,


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