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

Smith, McCoy mccoy.smith at intel.com
Mon Jan 9 18:59:14 UTC 2017

Is there a link to the most recent version of this license (I think it was modified during the submission process)?

If there is a patent license requirement to downstream contributors but not the original upstream author, I too would likely express reservations*, but that gap was not immediately apparent to me from the draft that was originally posted.

Alternatively, is there a link to the part of the thread where this particular issue was addressed and where the portions of the text that created the problem or ambiguity were highlighted?


*I have become of the opinion that the lack of an express patent license in an open source license is potentially a violation of OSD 7, although that opinion is inconsistent with the OSI-approved status of several existing licenses.  Even if it is not a violation of OSD 7, I believe as a matter of practice, it is something that should be a feature of any new licenses approved by OSI.
-----Original Message-----
From: License-review [mailto:license-review-bounces at opensource.org] On Behalf Of Richard Fontana
Sent: Sunday, January 08, 2017 7:10 PM
To: License submissions for OSI review
Subject: Re: [License-review] NOSA 2.0 - 'Up or Down' vote

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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