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

Brendan Hickey brendan.m.hickey at gmail.com
Sat Oct 20 02:26:05 UTC 2018

While the question of copyright misuse is admittedly very interesting, it's
getting away from a central question that Richard raised three days ago:
Does this license satisfy OSD #9?

That answer is a resounding no. Clause 13 applies to programs that are not
derivative works of the licensed software. Moreover it appears so absurdly
expansive that actually achieving compliance might be impossible in
practice. As Vadim rightly point out the practical impact of this clause is
discriminatory against competitors in the same field of endeavour, thereby
running afoul of OSD #6.

In the following scenarios what is the user required to distribute under
the SSPL? (Assuming that clause 13 has attached in the first place.)

   - Serving MongoDB on Debian.
   - Serving MongoDB on OSX running Time Machine.
   - Use Docker to deploy an image that serves MongoDB.
   - Use Puppet to manage machines which are in turn used to serve MongoDB.
   - Monitor a binary build from SSPL licensed code with software written
   in Java, using Java APIs.
   - Regularly `shred` MongoDB logs for privacy purposes.
   - Print the MongoDB source code to make a backup.


On Fri, Oct 19, 2018 at 9:34 PM Pamela Chestek <pamela at chesteklegal.com>

> On 10/18/18 8:53 PM, VanL wrote:
> the entire purpose of the SSPL is to prevent competition to MongoDB by
> copies that would otherwise be lawful ...
> Van, this is where you're losing me. What are the "lawful copies"? If the
> licensee hasn't complied with the terms of the license, paragraph 13 in
> particular, then they don't have lawful copies. You point seems circular to
> me.
> If you're saying that paragraph 13 would not be construed as a condition,
> then you're in contract territory - and I do agree with that your
> impossibility argument will often be true. But then query whether the
> licensee should be taking the license if they know they can't comply.
> Wouldn't there a counterclaim for that? Fraudulent misrepresentation?
> Pam
> Pamela S. Chestek
> Chestek Legal
> PO Box 2492
> Raleigh, NC 27602
> +1 919-800-8033
> pamela at chesteklegal.com
> www.chesteklegal.com
> _______________________________________________
> License-review mailing list
> License-review at lists.opensource.org
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