[License-review] NOSA 2.0 - 'Up or Down' vote

Richard Fontana fontana at opensource.org
Thu Jan 5 23:10:13 UTC 2017

On Thu, Jan 05, 2017 at 10:34:03PM +0000, Tzeng, Nigel H. wrote:
> Richard,
> Are you also going to ask about asymmetry with permissive upstream and
> copyleft downstream?  This was an action item from the UCL license
> discussion.

I will raise that issue, yes.
> It should be conveyed that no one else apparently had significant issue
> with NOSA 2.0 and it is a special purpose license for government use.  I
> believe that more people recommended approval (more than 1) than rejection
> (1). I don¹t believe that you convinced anyone else that NOSA v2 violated
> OSD or that it would require ³substantial revision² to do so.

I believe all that is correct. I will convey that.
> That you
> disagreed with NASA¹s interpretation of 51 USC 20141 is not a failure of
> the process or indication that the license is too complex for the needs of
> the Government Open Source Software (GOSS) community.

I agree. I think the 51 USC 20141 issue was fairly minor.

> I would ask that the review process be amended that licenses automatically
> go to an up or down vote within 6 months of submission unless further
> delay is requested by the submitter and that the recommendation to the
> board as to the opinion of this list be as transparent as possible and in
> the format that Luis used in his reports.

Okay, those are good suggestions. I will propose those.


> Regards,
> Nigel
> On 1/5/17, 3:57 PM, "License-review on behalf of Richard Fontana"
> <license-review-bounces at opensource.org on behalf of
> fontana at opensource.org> wrote:
> >As some know, NOSA 2.0 [1] has been languishing in a limbo review
> >state for an extremely long time.
> >
> >In my opinion, NOSA 2.0 is, in its current form, an overly complex and
> >badly drafted license. I cannot gain enough confidence that it meets
> >the letter and spirit of the Open Source Definition, without
> >substantial revision, which the license steward seems disinclined to
> >undertake. This is just my view and does not reflect any sort of
> >consensus view, although I am not sure one could really demonstrate a
> >consensus view on the other side. (It should be noted that Luis Villa,
> >a former OSI board member and one of my personal heroes, actually did
> >recommend early on that the OSI approve NOSA 2.0, but this never went
> >to a vote. [2])
> >
> >The reason I kept the review alive, in some sense, is twofold. I
> >thought that we could somehow use this forum to collectively revise
> >the license, but that did not work, in part because of the high
> >complexity of the license. (This forum is by contrast not too bad at
> >dealing with the more typical shorter, simpler license texts.) I also
> >believed for a long time that it was contrary to de facto OSI policy
> >to reject a license outright, as opposed to gently directing the
> >license submitter to go back to the drawing board. I later discovered
> >that outright license rejection, though it seems to have been uncommon
> >if it occurred at all in the past several years, was sometimes done
> >earlier in the OSI's history.
> >
> >A number of people, including the license steward and submitter, have
> >asked at various times out of understandable frustration that there be
> >an 'up or down' vote on NOSA 2.0 rather than a continuation of the
> >current situation. There is an OSI board meeting next Wednesday. I
> >will place the 'up or down' vote on the agenda, and (with reluctance)
> >I will recommend that the vote be 'down' out of concern for the
> >integrity of the OSD and the license approval process. It is
> >conceivable that the OSI board will wish to treat NOSA 2.0 in some
> >manner other than 'up or down' though.
> >
> >If anyone has comments on NOSA 2.0 that they'd like the OSI board to
> >consider please provide them before next Wednesday.
> >
> >Richard
> >
> >[1] See e.g.:
> >https://lists.opensource.org/pipermail/license-review/2013-June/001944.htm
> >l
> >(original submission)
> >https://lists.opensource.org/pipermail/license-review/2014-June/002177.htm
> >l
> >https://lists.opensource.org/pipermail/license-review/2014-December/002296
> >.html
> >https://lists.opensource.org/pipermail/license-review/2015-September/00247
> >8.html
> >https://lists.opensource.org/pipermail/license-review/2016-February/002716
> >.html
> >https://lists.opensource.org/pipermail/license-review/2016-February/thread
> >.html
> >https://lists.opensource.org/pipermail/license-review/2016-February/002718
> >.html
> >https://lists.opensource.org/pipermail/license-review/2016-March/002721.ht
> >ml
> >https://lists.opensource.org/pipermail/license-review/2016-March/002722.ht
> >ml
> >https://lists.opensource.org/pipermail/license-review/2016-March/002723.ht
> >ml
> >https://lists.opensource.org/pipermail/license-review/2016-March/002724.ht
> >ml
> >https://lists.opensource.org/pipermail/license-review/2016-March/002731.ht
> >ml
> >https://lists.opensource.org/pipermail/license-review/2016-April/002735.ht
> >ml
> >https://lists.opensource.org/pipermail/license-review/2016-April/002737.ht
> >ml
> >https://lists.opensource.org/pipermail/license-review/2016-April/002736.ht
> >ml
> >
> >[2] 
> >https://lists.opensource.org/pipermail/license-review/2013-October/001999.
> >html
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