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

Bruce Perens bruce at perens.com
Mon Feb 18 06:52:01 UTC 2019

On Sun, Feb 17, 2019 at 9:46 PM Kyle Mitchell <kyle at kemitchell.com> wrote:

> If OSD 6 banned any kind of discrimination whatsoever in terms, GPLv2
> discriminated against proprietary software makers.

Obviously making source code for the licensed program available is the
primary purpose of Open Source and OSD #6 doesn't ban that. Where SSPL
departs from this is that it over-reaches to demand that source code be
made available for something *other *than the licensed program, and only in
a specific use case.

> AGPL and OSL went after SaaS companies

AGPL and OSL extended the obligations that were until that date triggered
upon distribution to trigger upon public performance. AGPL and OSL did not
over-reach to demand source of programs that are simply used together, as
SSPL does.

> Last, the scarlet letter Mongo's people have been made to wear for coming
> as a business corporation.

Who isn't a business corporation? You can assume that my corporate
interests are significant, and are pretty well aligned with those
enterprises that want to use not-quite-Open-Source licenses and Open Source
ones together. I simply believe these things should fall under different

You should also note that I took on this exact problem for MariaDB's
Business Source License, and am taking it on with you in another venue. I
am not against the use of these licenses. I just don't believe they should
be called Open Source.

Relevant or not here?  If not, why does it come up so often?

Because Free Software and Open Source drew a line in the sand, gave it a
brand, and have defended that line. There will always be attempts to push
it elsewhere, and they will always be resisted.

They can't register with me, emotionally or as arguments.

That's obvious. But most of the business people concerned with this problem
have accepted that licenses like MariaDB's Business Source license, the
SSPL, and other similar things belong in a space other than Open Source.


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