[License-review] Approval: Server Side Public License, Version 2 (SSPL v2)

Kyle Mitchell kyle at kemitchell.com
Sun Feb 17 18:11:49 UTC 2019

On 2019-02-16 22:02, Bruce Perens wrote:
> The language struck here is the main problem keeping the proposed license
> from being accepted as compliant with the Open Source Definition. I believe
> that we objected to similar language in the first version, and am confused
> as to why you felt the need to refine the definition of software as a
> service, since *this was not responsive to the objections to the license.*

Eliot's refinement is highly responsive to my primary
objection to both v1 and v2.  It wasn't mine alone.

How Bruce's objection automatically becomes the main and
only objection, I am not given to know.  I fear Richard's
admirable stab at process reform brings no clarity there,
and muddies waters elsewhere, besides.  All of this calls
Luis' prior effort to mind.  With reformers like those, and
results like these, my doubts turn to the reformed.

On first glance, the new section looks like an improvement.
It's speaking in terms more like those we've used to
describe intent and effect, which is a very good sign.  But
it takes well more than a day to assess changes like these,
in the crux of the license, in detail, especially when the
rest of the text runs this long.  If I have thoughts, Eliot
and Heather will have them, privately.  They can bring them
here if they like.

As for me, I've lost confidence in this body's ability to
make rigorous decisions, or even facilitate focused debate,
on any remotely interesting new copyleft license.  At least
when certain old hands do not play authorial or consultative
parts.  So I've otherwise stopped responding, and focused my
efforts where collective time and talent have hope of
yielding practical results.  In that I am also not alone.

Kyle Mitchell, attorney // Oakland // (510) 712 - 0933

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