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

Tzeng, Nigel H. Nigel.Tzeng at jhuapl.edu
Fri Sep 11 15:11:07 UTC 2015

I was under the impression that most governments were at least somewhat
immune to copyright issues because of sovereign immunity.  I don¹t think
any license really protects against this regardless of the terms.

I guess someone with standing could still sue for injunctive relief but
doesn¹t strike me as likely.


On 9/11/15, 10:11 AM, "License-review on behalf of Gervase Markham"
<license-review-bounces at opensource.org on behalf of gerv at mozilla.org>

>On 07/09/15 23:13, Josh Berkus wrote:
>> On 09/07/2015 11:01 AM, Meeker, Heather J. wrote:
>>> I was sidetracked because Section 4 is, for the most part, already
>>> in MPL 2.0 (whereas 3.5B is the new language we added).  In Section
>>> 4, we added "national security or necessity of public interest" to
>>> "statute, judicial order, or regulation."  So if there is a concern
>>> generally with this mechanism, it also exists for MPL 2.0.  If
>>> there is a difference, it would be a matter of national security or
>>> necessity of public interest that is not embodied in any law.  I
>>> would expect that to be rare, but the clarification was important
>>> to our constituency.
>> Oh, I didn't realize that was in the MPL.
>> Gerv, any comments on this provision?
>I would say that the difference between what's in the MPL 2.0 and what's
>in OSET is that in the MPL 2.0 ("statute, judicial order, or
>regulation"), all of the factors are (almost always) outside the control
>of the licensee, they are things which are written down and visible to
>all, and it is generally (hopefully) clear or there is a body of case
>law to say how to interpret the statute, judicial order, or regulation
>which is considered incompatible.
>When you add "national security or necessity of public interest" into
>that mix, you are adding factors which are much woollier, and
>furthermore _are_ under the control of the licensee (in the case where
>it's a government using the software for their own elections) and do not
>have to be written down. Who defines "the public interest" or "national
>security"? The government does. Does it have to document its decisions
>and open them for scrutiny? No. Which means they get to ignore any bits
>of the license they don't like as long as they can come up with a
>"public interest" reason why obeying the license isn't a good idea.
>Therefore, I would say that this change is a significant one.
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