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

Russell Nelson nelson at crynwr.com
Sat Mar 28 19:08:48 UTC 2020

On 3/28/20 2:54 AM, Syed Arsalan Hussain Shah wrote:
> 3. As likely the license i submitted is not drafted by attorney,  and 
> will likely be rejected. Will there be any problem from opensource.org 
> <http://opensource.org> side if we continue using OSSNL license?  (as 
> its not approved). (like legal action from opensource.org 
> <http://opensource.org> side if we continue using that license? in our 
> opensource called software?)

We need to be clear. It's not that you need an attorney because we love 
attorneys. It's that attorneys are skilled at writing licenses, just as 
programmers are skilled at writing code. It's possible that you could 
write a license which will be approved, just less likely.

Since the OSI doesn't have a certification mark on "Open Source", we 
would have no standing to sue you if you used those words (but don't!). 
If you used the green keyhole trademark, you would promptly get a demand 
letter if you used it and the OSSNL at the same time.

If someone got your software, and felt that you were profiting from 
using "Open Source" while using a license that was not approved by us, 
it's possible that they could sue you for fraud (profiting from a lie is 

Yes, to answer your question, you are at legal risk if you use an 
unapproved (worse, rejected!) license and claim that your software is 
open source. Surely the benefit you hope to get by using a license that 
hasn't been approved isn't worth the legal risk.

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