[License-review] Approval: Server Side Public License, Version 1 (SSPL v1)

Carlo Piana carlo at piana.eu
Wed Nov 7 07:38:22 UTC 2018

Entirely correct.

Discrimination occurs when you treat identical situations in different ways because the subject belongs to a different group of people.

Copyleft does not discriminate. If A holds copyright in X and B doesn't, A has rights and B has a grant, so their position is different. But that doesn't change if you reverse their positions.

If however A holds copyright in X and B holds copyright in Y and A can do things with XY that B can't do, that's discriminatory, because A has asymmetrical powers on Y that B has not on X, provided that this is *a condition of the grant* and not a free decision of B. If B has contributed substantial work in XY under  more permissive  conditions, B will have less "power" over the combination. That's  a consequence  of their respective licensing choice, not a condition of the grant.

Claiming that Agpl is discriminatory is preposterous. Maybe Agpl touches upon use of modified software in a way that some may think it's too burdensome, but it requires A and B the same compliance; upstream and downstream are treated equally. Honestly, despite I don't like SSPL very much, I don't find it discriminates.



On 6 Nov 2018, "Kevin P. Fleming" <kevin+osi at km6g.us> wrote:
>My two cents: my understanding of OSD 5 was that 'discrimination'
>applied to natural, inherent characteristics of the persons or groups
>in question, or to behaviors they choose to engage in outside of the
>usage of the software, not to the ways in which they planned to
>consume, distribute, or modify the software. The typical list of
>protected characteristics (race/ethnicity, religion, gender, age,
>economic status, etc.) and membership in groups would be the ways I'd
>consider 'discriminatory' in the context of OSD 5, not the fact that a
>person or group wants to incorporate software into a proprietary
>product. That would fall into OSD 6, possibly, or not at all.
>On Tue, Nov 6, 2018 at 12:32 PM Luis Villa <luis at lu.is> wrote:
>> On Tue, Nov 6, 2018 at 9:08 AM Kyle Mitchell <kyle at kemitchell.com>
>>> As for distinguishing network software development from
>>> other kinds of software, plenty of approved copyleft
>>> licenses discriminate among ways of creating new software
>>> with old.  For example, the weak copyleft licenses, LGPL,
>>> MPL, EPL.  Arguably, so do the original, strong, GPL-style
>>> licenses, now that we have network copyleft.  GPLv3
>>> "discriminates" against proprietary development generally,
>>> and among those, privileges developers who distribute
>>> software over those who provide it as services.
>> GPL v3 also discriminates against those who distribute User Products,
>burdening them with extra obligations. I don't recall anyone seriously
>suggesting at the time that this was a violation of OSD 6, though I'd
>be curious to revisit the archives in my copious free time :(
>> (GPL v3 also arguably discriminates against those who wish to
>exercise their legal rights as granted by laws that implement
>anti-circumvention provisions of the '96 WIPO treaty, though that's a
>weaker argument.)
>>> Copyleft is inherently discriminatory.  For reasons I set
>>> out in my post at the section linked below, that kind of
>>> discrimination evidently isn't the kind 5 and 6 prohibit.
>>> Where developers have a choice to make their code free or
>>> nonfree, copyleft exists precisely to encourage and require
>>> the free choice.
>> +1 to this. Copyleft has always been an odd fit with OSD 5 and 6,
>particularly 6. This discussion will be healthiest if we can grapple
>with that honestly instead of tying ourselves in knots to deny it.
>> Luis
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