[License-review] For Approval: The Cryptographic Autonomy License

Henrik Ingo henrik.ingo at avoinelama.fi
Wed May 1 19:10:54 UTC 2019

On Wed, May 1, 2019 at 7:05 AM Bruce Perens via License-review
<license-review at lists.opensource.org> wrote:
> What I am finding bothersome about most of the network copyright proposals is that they change the fundamental deal of Free Software / Open Source. No more running for any use, no more sympathy for eveyone but proprietary software makers - there is a new set of evils including, in this case, data hoarders.

While the CAL seems to overstep boundaries in a number of ways, and
the requirements on user data are one example of a requirement at
least not obviously allowed by the OSD... I want to take exception
with your general policy statement here that network copyleft licenses
are all but undesired. SaaS (and similar) vendors are proprietary
software vendors. In the 80s, users could not modify their software,
because they didn't get source code with the binaries. In 2019 users
can't modify their software because they have neither the binary or
the source code. Using new copyleft licenses to address this situation
is a good idea now just like the GPL was a good idea then.

Some might even argue they're needed and welcome. I personally hope
Van's client will be willing to scale down their ambitions, so that
the OSI could approve a revised version of the CAL eventually.

> Approving the network copyright licenses would be a slippery slope to approving a whole family of worse ones and IMO, people would abscond and we would end with FSF being looked to as the arbiter of licenses. Which wouldn't be so bad for the community and FSF, just for OSI. The new generation of leadership at FSF and SFC is pretty cool.

Note btw that the OSI can also fade into irrelevance the exact
opposite way from what you suggest. If OSI fails to approve licenses
that meet the OSD (and also are otherwise seen to be sound), then
eventually the community will use those licenses anyway. And also the
FSF might approve them. Network copyleft is clearly an area where
currently supply and demand don't meet, and eventually there will be
new licenses in this area that the OSI needs to approve. (But there
are good justifications for rejecting CAL, so this concern does not
apply today.)


henrik.ingo at avoinelama.fi
+358-40-5697354        skype: henrik.ingo            irc: hingo

My LinkedIn profile: http://fi.linkedin.com/pub/henrik-ingo/3/232/8a7

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