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

Smith, McCoy mccoy.smith at intel.com
Tue Mar 12 17:44:36 UTC 2019

>>-----Original Message-----
>>From: License-review [mailto:license-review-bounces at lists.opensource.org] On Behalf Of Josh Berkus
>>Sent: Tuesday, March 12, 2019 10:30 AM
>>To: License submissions for OSI review <license-review at lists.opensource.org>
>>Subject: Re: [License-review] Approval: Server Side Public License, Version 2 (SSPL v2)

>>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.

How would you propose the OSD be changed?  I think there were various objections to SSPL over the course of discussion, mainly around OSD 9 (with differing opinions on the interpretation and effect of OSD 9), but many of the other objections were around drafting clarity or legal issues like copyright misuse.  I'm not sure any of those were directed at a SaaS business models, although some were directed on the perceived business model of MongoDB.

>>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 reconstituted.

>>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.

I believe that all of the presentations at CopyleftConf were recorded, but I don't see on their website any recorded content.   Karen Sandler or Bradley Kuhn might know if/when content will be available.  I don't recall a specific discussion of SSPL at that conference, although there were some general discussions (including my presentation) about the evolution of copyleft and how to approach it.

>>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.

Is there a different process you think would be fairer?  How would it work?
FWIW I don't have a lot of free time, but I do post on this list with some frequency.  And I probably qualify as a licensing wonk.

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