[License-review] [Was: Submission of OSET Public License for Approval] -- National Security and Public Policy (3.5B and 4)

Josh Berkus josh at postgresql.org
Thu Sep 17 15:42:01 UTC 2015

On 09/16/2015 08:11 PM, Meeker, Heather J. wrote:
> Understood, and by implication I gather you would also not contribute to any project under a permissive license.

Nope, because I already do (which you'd realize if you googled me).  The
issue is one of asymmetry.

If I contribute to OSET under the OSET license, and I have to obey the
terms of the OSET license if I want to use the OSET software in my own
business.  But governments, and favored contractors with complaint
legislators, or even just corrupt beaurocrats, get to use my
contribution *without* the restrictions which I must obey.  So the OSET
license creates a 2-class system, in which people with access to the
levers of government have more rights than code contributors do.

Personally I think corrupt legislators and beaurocrats have enough power
already.  We don't need to give them more in the terms of a license.

This is materially identical to dual-licensing, where companies offer
code under the GPL, but also commercially license it.  I don't
contribute to those projects either (and neither does anyone else,
historically).  Imagine if someone asked us to certify a license which
said "corporations can ignore any provision of this license which
conflicts with company policy".  This would not be an OSS license.

Due to this provision, I see the OSET license as presented as being in
violation of the OSD, and would not currently vote to certify it.

--Josh Berkus

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