[License-review] International Licenses: Québec Free and Open-Source Licence (LiLiQ)

Gervase Markham gerv at mozilla.org
Wed Sep 16 08:59:59 UTC 2015

Hi Simon,

On 15/09/15 19:25, Simon.Johnson-Begin at cspq.gouv.qc.ca wrote:
> The Government of Québec is requesting approval of the Québec Free
> and Open-Source Licence (LiLiQ), a set of three licenses: LiLiQ-P,
> LiLiQ-R and LiLiQ-R+.

Does the government have specific software that it plans to release
under each of the three licenses, or is one or more of the licenses
"speculative" in that you've created it to fill a logical space in the
range but have no software yet that you wants to release under it?

> - The legal obligation for the Government of Québec and its agencies
> to conclude contracts in French; 

You later say "There is no need to agree to the terms of the license to
merely use a software licensed under the LiLiQ." Therefore surely LiLiQ
is not a contract, but a license, and this requirement is not relevant?

> - The opportunity to put forward a
> FOSS license that would help Québec's citizens, corporations and
> non-profit organizations to build and distribute FOSS softwares;

Other than the government of Québec, do you know of another Québecois
organization which has found the lack of a license like LiLiQ a barrier
to them releasing software as FOSS?

> 2. Adapt an existing license. Findings : To adapt an existing license
> requires the copyright owner authorization which can be subject to an
> heavy authorization process.

Just as a point of fact, this is not true of all licenses. For example,
the MPL 2.0 section 10.3:

"If you create software not governed by this License, and you want to
create a new license for such software, you may create and use a
modified version of this License if you rename the license and remove
any references to the name of the license steward (except to note that
such modified license differs from this License)."

Also, existing historical licenses such as the MIT and BSD effectively
do not have a copyright owner; people make modified versions of them all
the time.


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