[License-review] Request for approval by license steward: Tidepool Open Access to Health Data Software License

Richard Fontana fontana at sharpeleven.org
Sun Oct 6 20:16:57 UTC 2013

On Sat, 5 Oct 2013 11:58:36 -0700
Howard Look <howard at tidepool.org> wrote:

> My name is Howard Look. I am President/CEO of Tidepool Project. We
> are a non-profit, (soon to be) open source project creating an open
> platform and applications to help reduce the burden on people with
> Type 1 Diabetes. We are proposing that we a new create a new license,
> the Tidepool Open Access to Health Data Software License.
> Our company and efforts are described here:
> http://tidepool.org
> Our rationale and proposed license strategy is detailed here: 
> http://tidepool.org/blog/2013/9/17/wheres-the-code-or-a-funny-thing-happened-while-on-the-way-to-an-open-source-license

While the license strategy specific to your software might seem to be
irrelevant to the question of whether the license itself is 'Open
Source' or not, I have a few questions about it which I hope you will

Given that you have decided to dual-license your software under GPLv3
(an OSI-approved license) and this new license, why are you seeking OSI
approval for the new license? After all, given your chosen
dual-licensing approach, your software will be Open Source by
definition. If it's so important to you to have this new license be
OSI-approved, why not just plan to use a single-license approach,
especially since you seem to concede that few if any users are likely
to take you up on the GPLv3 option?

On that point, your blog post makes much of the anticipated commercial
resistance to the GPL. Do you then believe that this new license is
likely to be significantly more commercially palatable than the GPL?
Your blog post seems in part to be a response to questions about why
you have thus far kept your code private. You suggest that you have held
off on making your software public while "figur[ing] out the right open
source license to use". I can understand why you might wish to delay
use of the new license because feedback here and elsewhere might reveal
some remaining problems with the license text. But if you have decided
on this dual-license approach, why then wouldn't you just release your
software under GPLv3 immediately, and add the other license at some
later date?

- RF

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