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

Richard Fontana fontana at opensource.org
Mon Jan 9 03:09:33 UTC 2017

Responding here to Josh Berkus's message:

> On 01/05/2017 12:57 PM, Richard Fontana wrote:
> > If anyone has comments on NOSA 2.0 that they'd like the OSI board to
> > consider please provide them before next Wednesday.

> Can we have the issues withe the NOSA, in detail, doc'd somewhere?
> Right now they're spread out over 3 years of email discussion
> comments.  I doubt the submitter is clear on the problems with the
> license, either, which makes it hard for them to resolve them.
> I think NOSA really shows how a mailing list is not adequate to the
> kinds of license discussions we need to have these days.

I never made a full list. What happened was I'd periodically wade
through the license text and find issues I hadn't seen before, and
over time I developed the general view that the license was just too
confusingly written.

A big issue for me was that I believe under a fair reading of the
license it seemed to exempt the original licensor (which will
presumably typically be NASA) from patent licensing obligations
imposed on licensees. This can be seen as yet another example of a
concern about a possible legal asymmetry in the license (cf. the
discussion of the UCL from a couple of months ago). I was not
satisfied by Bryan's response to this. Of course it is possible that
this was just a (significant) drafting error.


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