[License-review] Fwd: For Approval | Open Source Social Network License 1.0

Josh Berkus josh at berkus.org
Fri Mar 27 20:27:35 UTC 2020

On 3/27/20 11:41 AM, Kevin P. Fleming wrote:
> 1. Must they be retained in source code distributions?
> 2. Must they be included in binary distributions?
> 3. Must they be presented to the user of the software in any fashion?
> (1) is quite common and completely acceptable.
> (2) is also quite common and completely acceptable.
> (3) is not common, and by common interpretation of the OSD it is not
> acceptable because it disallows a particular type of modification of
> the software. OSD-compliant licenses allow recipients to make any
> modifications they wish and to distribute those modified versions.

It's even finer-grained than that, because we consciously approved the
GPLv3 despite its attribution notice requirement.

The reason why the GPLv3 was acceptable was that the notice requirement
was flexible; that is, notice is only required if the derivative work is
already presenting other information to the user, and the exact format
of the notification is not defined.

Contrast this with the OSSNL, which *requires* a splash screen.  This
means that:

- I can't run OSSNL-licensed software on any "headless" machine
- I can't run OSSNL-licensed software in an embedded context
- I can't borrow useful libraries out of OSSNL-licensed software and use
them in a program that has no GUI

This makes it a clear violation of OSD#10.

Josh Berkus

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