[License-review] NOSA 2.0

Richard Fontana fontana at opensource.org
Thu Feb 4 22:07:21 UTC 2016

Here's the 'DEFINITIONS' section of NOSA 2.0 in full, with comments
from me (without looking at how these are used in the body of the


A. “Contributor” means Government Agency and any other person or
entity that creates or contributes to the creation of Subject

COMMENT: Potentially confusing, because 'Subject Software' can include
downstream Derivative Works. Not sure yet if there is a problem here.

B. “Contribution” means any Work, including Your own Works and Works
of other Contributors, that are Derivative Works of the Subject
Software and that are intentionally submitted by You or other
Contributors to Government Agency for inclusion in, or documentation
of, the Subject Software.

C. “Covered Patents” means any patent claims licensable by a
Contributor that are necessarily infringed by the manufacture, import,
use, offer for sale, or sale of a Contributor’s Derivative Works or
Contributions alone or when combined with the Subject Software.

COMMENT: This seems to mean that Covered Patents will never include
patents held by 'Government Agency'. While 'Contributor' includes
'Government Agency', what if all the Government Agency distributes is
'Original Software'? This might be a major problem (not sure
yet). Apart from that this definition is confusing given the umbrella
definition of 'Subject Software'.

D. “Derivative Work” means a Work that is based on (or derived from)
the Subject Software

COMMENT: Why 'Subject Software' (which includes Derivative Works,
which includes Contributions) rather than 'Original Software'? Not
sure if this is a problem, but potentially confusing.

and for which the revisions, annotations, or other modifications, as a
whole, represent an original work of authorship. Derivative Works
shall not include (i) Works that remain separate from, or merely link
to, the Subject Software, or (ii) additions to the Subject Software
which are separable modules of software distributed in conjunction
with the Subject Software, or parts of the Subject Software, under
their own license agreement. Including Subject Software or parts
thereof in a Larger Work is not in and of itself a Derivative Work.

E. “Larger Work” means software that combines Subject Software, or
portions thereof, with software that remains separate from, or is
merely linked to, the Subject Software and that is not governed by the
terms of this Agreement.

F. “Original Software” means the software first released under this
Agreement by Government Agency with the Government Agency designation
and title listed above, including source code, object code and
accompanying documentation, if any.

G.  “Subject Software” means the Original Software, Derivative Works,
or Contributions, and any combination or respective parts thereof.

COMMENT: I have the feeling that the attempted comprehensiveness of
this definition leads to problems.

H. “Work” means an original work of authorship fixed in a tangible
medium of expression, now known or later developed, from which it can
be perceived, reproduced, or otherwise communicated, either directly
or with the aid of a machine or device, including Derivative Works.  A
work is original if it is independently created by You, as opposed to
copied from other works, and it possesses at least some minimal degree
of creativity.

I. “You” or “Your” means an individual or a legal entity exercising
rights under, and complying with all the terms of, this Agreement. For
legal entities, “You” or “Your” includes an entity and any other
entity that controls, is controlled by, or is under common control
with such entity. For the purposes of this definition, “control” means
(i) the power, direct or indirect, to cause the direction or
management of such entity, whether by contract or otherwise, or (ii)
ownership of fifty percent (50%) or more of the outstanding shares, or
(iii) beneficial ownership of such entity.

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