[License-review] [Was: Submission of OSET Public License for Approval] -- National Security and Public Policy (3.5B and 4)
Christopher Sean Morrison
brlcad at mac.com
Thu Sep 17 18:19:11 UTC 2015
From: John Cowan <cowan@***.org>
>> 3.4 seems problematic. What happens when FSF or OSI rescind an
>> approval/certification — and it’s not fully clear to me what those
>> terms mean regarding the FSF.
> No such thing has happened in the last 17 years, and I think it unlikely.
> We wouldn't rescind approval just because we now think a license is a bad
> idea, only because we find that it is somehow not compliant to the OSD
> after all -- and determining OSD compliance just isn't that hard.
> The same applies to the FSF-free list.
I agree that it is unlikely; that wasn't asserted. It's simply a categorical concern. This clause is based on some undefined notion of approval or certification from another legal entity, which may or may not exist in the future (however likely or unlikely). In the FSF case, I would argue that they don't approve or certify anything -- their license page very clearly categorizes in a variety of ways (e.g., is it free?), states that only free should be used, and makes recommendations (which have changed over time), but they do not go so far in my eyes to "approve" or "certify" anything as worded in clause 3.4.
Someone cautious could go so far as to infer 3.4 requiring approval in writing, but it's still a temporal clause coupled to another entity's existence and some notion of approval. It's not problematic in terms of the OSD, but it does sufficiently lack practical rigor imho that I see it as problematic in the (perhaps very) long-term. As a developer, I wouldn't be comfortable sublicensing a LiLiQ code based on that clause, but perhaps that's just me. I've seen too many immortal companies disappear over the decades.
From: Richard Fontana <fontana@***.org>
> On Thu, Sep 17, 2015 at 10:42:01AM -0500, Josh Berkus wrote:
>> 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.
> Actually, I think such a license could be demonstrably OSD-conformant
> (or, to make this easier, conformant to the similar-in-spirit Free
> Software Definition of the FSF). But it is inconceivable that the OSI
> would approve such a license, and it might, and maybe does, expose
> some inadequacy in the Open Source Definition or some overly-literal
> interpretations of it.
Please excuse my ignorance, but how is that possibly not treatment or consideration of, or making a distinction in favor of or against, a person or thing based on the group, class, or category to which that person or thing is perceived to belong? It discriminates corporations vs. everyone else.
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