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

VanL van.lindberg at gmail.com
Thu Oct 18 22:16:50 UTC 2018

On Thu, Oct 18, 2018 at 5:12 PM Smith, McCoy <mccoy.smith at intel.com> wrote:

> Yep.
> I had the same thought on LZPL a while back (although didn’t do the
> comprehensive case citations!):
> http://lists.opensource.org/pipermail/license-review_lists.opensource.org/2017-October/003151.html
> Was in the process of writing a lengthier message for the license-discuss
> list on OSD 9 and how copyright misuse and the reach of derivative works
> constrains reach to other code and that’s an inherent part of OSD 9.  Might
> still do that, despite the good discussion below.
> BTW:  Patent misuse may also be in play here, given that the scope of the
> patent grant in SSPL, as I and others read it, is essentially unbounded (it
> goes to “everyone” and potentially reaches all patents infringed by “all
> programs that you use to make the Program or modified versions available”
> etc.).  That’s also a patent grant that if it were to hold up to patent
> misuse scrutiny, is one that few patent holders would ever find palatable.
> Although that may be an intended feature of this license.

There *are* clearly patent issues here, but I don't see misuse as one of
them. Misuse usually requires the leveraging of a protected asset (the
patent) to exercise control over an unrelated commercial arrangement. I
don't see MongoDB asserting patent rights, so no misuse.

That said, the implied scope of the patent license is immense, which would
end up being another reason why people would avoid this license. But I
didn't read that as a legal flaw.

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