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

Carlo Piana osi-review at
Sat Oct 30 07:05:54 UTC 2010

On 10/29/2010 07:55 PM, Christian Solmecke wrote:
> In addition we would ask you, if it makes any difference, if we prospectively would do not distinguish between the styles of interfaces. Accordingly, ANY changes of the program - regardless of whether the changes affect the Kernel or not - must be uploaded to a website. Although this would be a much stricter handling, in our opinion the requirement of the technological neutrality would be guaranteed. Do you think, this could be a way to resolve the problem concerning the technological neutrality?
> 2. Mandatory Upload on a website
> Furthermore we ask ourselves, which provision of the OS-Definition is infringed by the mandatory upload of the changes of the Program, which is demanded by the NetX-Public License.  To our mind, the reference duties concerning any changes and modifications of the Program (in particular concerning the Kernel) according to § 4 clause 1 and 2 netX Public License do not infringe the Open Source Definition. According to # 4 Open Source Definition the License can request the documentation of changes and modifications to the Program in order to preserve the integrity of the author´s source code. 
> Perhaps we can overcome your concerns, if the licensor engages himself to provide another suitable website, in case the website www.industrialNETworX goes away. 

I respectfully submit that any obligations to provide changes and
documentation to the upstream is contrary to the OSD. I believe a
license cannot go farther than asking the contributor to document its
changes in the distributed copies of the modified software or -- at
his/her option -- by other equivalent and equally suitable means of
communication, such as a reliable web site under his/her control. But an
obligation to provide such modifications to a pre-defined service would
be conflicting with the need to allow unrestricted distribution of the
software, according to Sections 1 and 3.

AFAICT, Section 4 only restricts the form in which the modification is
distributed downstream (it does not seek to give the original
contributor the chance to inspect all modifications, but the recipient
of the software to be able to do so and to know what comes from whom).
In my view, the license shall not impose other obligations in such
respect than to distribute the modified source code, and distribution
along with the code should be in any case sufficient.

Plus, what if the service ceases to be available? How can the
contributor have the unrestricted right to distribute modified version
of the program, if this depends on a third party cooperation, especially
if this third party is the initiator of the project?

I urge the submitting entity any reference to the mandatory upload on a
website to remove from the license, and to consider an alternative
obligation to distribute the code along with the product or -- at the
contributor sole option -- to make it available through an at-the-time
convenient and reliable publicly available Internet resource or equivalent.

If the license remains unchanged in this respect, I urge OSI to reject it.

With best regards,

Carlo Piana

PS: as in all previous submissions, this does not necessarily represent
the view of the FSFE

More information about the License-review mailing list