[License-review] Submission of OSET Public License for Approval

Meeker, Heather J. hmeeker at omm.com
Thu Sep 3 00:56:22 UTC 2015

Hello list members,

I am writing to address a few of the issues that have been raised by the discussion so far.  Thanks to everyone for their thoughtful questions and comments.

1. No Problem.  The concerns articulated in our rationale document have been expressed to us by our constituency of procurement managers, so we are perplexed by the assertion that we are addressing “a non-existent problem.”  It is true that some governments accept open source when they procure software in some contexts, but “government” is not one single, amorphous group.  There is a difference between procurement of systems via an overarching contract that include open source software, and procurement of a pure open source product.  In other words, we are trying to provide a means for replacing the procurement contract -- not merely trying to skate in as an appendix to it.   We are trying to find the path that will enable state and local elections procurement decision-makers to use open source software under our license alone.  OSET is not in the business of systems integration.  All we have is our open source license.

2. GPL Only.  We also understand many in the free software community feel strongly that software should only be licensed under GPL.  That is their prerogative to choose for their own code, but open source is more inclusive than that.  Our license is expressly compatible with GPL.  Anyone who prefers to use our software under GPL, or to combine our code into a GPL project, can do so.   Anyone who finds they cannot use the software under GPL -- due to the rationale we articulated  in our submission -- can use the code under our license.  Our constituency tells us they fall into the latter category, and it is in service of them that we have prepared and submitted the license.

3. Is it Open Source?  Finally, we prepared our license to fit the open source definition.  We hope that anyone who has concerns about this will express them here.  But the license is an open source license if it fits the open source definition.


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