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

Josh Berkus josh at berkus.org
Tue Mar 12 17:30:19 UTC 2019

On 3/8/19 4:44 PM, Eliot Horowitz via License-review wrote:
> We continue to believe that the SSPL complies with the Open Source
> Definition and the four essential software freedoms.  However, based on
> its reception by the members of this list and the greater open source
> community, the community consensus required to support OSI approval does
> not currently appear to exist regarding the copyleft provision of SSPL. 
> Thus, in order to be respectful of the time and efforts of the OSI board
> and this list’s members, we are hereby withdrawing the SSPL from OSI
> consideration. 

I'm very disappointed in this.  While I don't care for the way the SSPL
was introduced, this license poses interesting questions about how
copyleft can be extended (or not) and how the OSD's clauses about
software packaging need to change in a SaaS world.

If nothing else, SSPL was a serious license proposal and deserved
serious consideration it didn't get.  THis was a dramatic failure of the
license-review process, and I think shows that this group needs to be

Where was the report back from CopyleftConf?  Where was the legal
discussion around whether the things that Mongo wants are actually
licensable?  Instead of review, this ended in an endurance race of ad
hominem attacks against MongoDB Inc.  It's frankly embarassing.

We need a real process around license approval that isn't "outlast the
licensing wonks with the most free time."  This clearly isn't working,
and SSPL, like several other licenses over the last year, deserves a
fair hearing on the merits of the license itself.

Josh Berkus

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