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

Richard Fontana fontana at sharpeleven.org
Thu Sep 17 19:19:17 UTC 2015

On Thu, Sep 17, 2015 at 06:19:11PM +0000, Christopher Sean Morrison wrote:
> >
> >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.

I guess I've tended to read the 'no discrimination against persons or
groups' plank more narrowly as having been intended to mean 'can't
exclude anyone from enjoyment of baseline open source rights based on
status as a person or member of a group'.

So a license that said 'corporations can't use this software' would be
nonconformant, but not necessarily one that gave natural persons more
rights than corporations, for example.  But I can't really justify my
interpretation on anything other than my sense of what the
corresponding DFSG plank was historically aimed at.

(So maybe the problem is not 'overly-literal interpretations'.)

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