[License-review] For Approval: Twente License

Anand Chowdhary anandchowdhary at gmail.com
Wed Feb 6 05:03:59 UTC 2019

Hi Josh,

Thank you for your in-depth response, I especially love that you’ve taken the time out to help me understand the present challenges. 

As I mentioned in a previous email, the “human rights and [upholding] privacy” is vague and ambitious and would not be held up in court,  I agree with you 100%. This is why it was part of the human-readable summary but not the license text. 

As visible on https://twente.me, the license text only says “The Derivative shall require unambiguous prior consent before collecting any personally identifiable information of a user, and shall not release this information to a third party without aforementioned consent.”

This is only targeting one part of the privacy value, to make sure it is not ambiguous. I would love to hear your opinion about whether this changes anything in terms of the law, though I understand it still fails #6 and would still not be OSI approved. 

Thank you again for taking the time out, I really appreciate it, especially as a first-time license author and contributor to the OSI community. 


Sent from my iPhone

> On 6 Feb 2019, at 02:43, Josh Berkus <josh at berkus.org> wrote:
>> On 2/5/19 1:33 PM, Lawrence Rosen wrote:
>> But compliance with values is the function of laws rather than a
>> software license. We recognize that limitation in OSD #6 regarding the
>> (somewhat ambiguous) "No Discrimination Against Fields of Endeavor". [1]
>> Our governments adopt protective regulations about "values". (At least
>> recently, Europe often does, the US doesn't as often.) But "privacy,
>> human rights, and other ... values" are far more ambitious than software
>> can protect with its mere open source licenses.
> There's a concrete, rather than technical, reason to not allow this.
> I'm want to share this so that Anand will understand what he needs to
> work around.
> "Human rights & privacy" as expressed in the text of a license, are
> matters of opinion, so a developer/distributor cannot know if they have
> violated the license or not, pending litigation.
> For example, I would say that the right of free movement was a Human
> Right, as well as the right to marry whomever you want.  However, there
> are many people in the world who would not agree with me on either
> count.  And while you could have a list of specific human rights in the
> license, even by reference, even each of those is open to interpretation
> in court.  There's a whole litigation industry based on arguing whether
> you've violated someone's human rights or not.
> So you'd be setting up a situation where a user of the software couldn't
> know if they had violated the license or not based on any kind of
> factual analysis.
> To a degree, this is true with other things like "distribute" and
> "modification", but those are simpler concepts and even so have resulted
> in litigation over their exact meaning as it applies to open source.  I
> shudder to think of how a court would handle  a requirement to "uphold
> privacy".
> -- 
> Josh Berkus

More information about the License-review mailing list