[License-review] The Vaccine License

VanL van.lindberg at gmail.com
Tue Oct 29 21:47:54 UTC 2019

Hello Fil,

This is clever and interesting, and to the extent that it helps us think
through various issues, it can be valuable. I also applaud that you have
identified a concrete license condition that mitigates (but does not
eliminate) the subjectivity and enforceability concerns raised by various
licenses that have been proposed around the 'net.

Regardless, I don't think that the Vaccine License is an appropriate OSS
license. My primary objection to the vaccine license is that it imposes
conditions that are logically separate from and wholly unrelated to the
scope of the intellectual property rights that are licensed.

Admittedly, the OSD does not explicitly impose such a restriction, and such
a restriction would not necessarily be absolute. But an evaluation of all
the existing licenses, as well as rejected licenses, and, as you point out,
the debate about the CAL, all include some aspect of this question: What
scope of action can be required of a licensee? In general, the answer that
seems to make sense and is consistent is that the restrictions must be
closely related to the exercise of the intellectual property permissions
granted by the license.

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