[License-review] Request - For Approval - Ritchey Permissive License v11

J. Ritchey x1x2c3+osi at gmail.com
Sun Feb 14 19:04:03 UTC 2021

This license doesn't require changes to be released under it. That would be
your material, not "the material". I have another license which does that,
and it is most definitely copyleft. The purpose of the statement "material
must entirely remain solely under this license" is to blacklist
sublicensing the original work under different terms.

In regards to the jurisdiction clause. This license is short, and short
licenses don't tend to define terms. This can have unexpected consequences
if terms are interpreted differently than expected. Binding to a
jurisdiction sets precedent for how terms might be interpreted in a legal

On Sun, Feb 14, 2021 at 8:00 AM McCoy Smith <mccoy at lexpan.law> wrote:

> I’m not sure your summary of this license is correct. This statement “The
> material must entirely remain solely under this license” seems to be a
> copyleft obligation (or would likely be interpreted as such).
> I also think that OSI should adopt a policy that choice of law and
> jurisdiction/venue clauses should be disfavored without a significant
> explanation as to why they are needed, lest we get license variants for
> every possible jurisdiction on earth.
> There are other issues with the legal drafting on this but are not worth
> belabouring given no legal person was involved with this. Another policy I
> think OSI should adopt is that if some number (perhaps more than one) legal
> reviewers on the list raise concerns about the legal drafting of a
> submission, the submitter should be required to seek legal advice and have
> their legal adviser provide a response or redraft. There have been enough
> submissions recently with poor legal drafting that a rule like that will
> help focus any follow-on discussion.
> *From:* License-review <license-review-bounces at lists.opensource.org> *On
> Behalf Of *J. Ritchey
> *Sent:* Saturday, February 13, 2021 4:31 PM
> *To:* license-review at lists.opensource.org
> *Subject:* [License-review] Request - For Approval - Ritchey Permissive
> License v11
> Submitting 'Ritchey Permissive License v11' for approval.
> License Text:
> Ritchey Permissive License v11:
> Subject to the terms of this license, any legal entity who receives
> material licensed under this license is granted royalty-free, perpetual,
> non-exclusive, permission to do anything lawful with the material which
> does not violate this license. Permissions are automatically revoked
> permanently from the legal entity upon breach of this license. The material
> is provided "as is", without implied fitness for any purpose. All
> obligations to the legal entity (including warranties, liabilities,
> representations, obligations, damages, and guarantees) are disclaimed by
> all parties involved (including the authors, rights holders, copyright
> holders, patent holders, and providers of the material). The legal entity
> is responsible for all consequences of sharing the material, and all
> obligations to recipients (including warranties, liabilities,
> representations, obligations, damages, and guarantees). The material must
> entirely remain solely under this license. This license is governed by the
> laws of the province of British Columbia (as they were on April 21, 2019),
> and the applicable laws of Canada (as they were on April 21, 2019). Any
> legal proceedings related to this license may only occur in the courts of
> British Columbia. The legal entity must be capable of being bound to this
> entire license, and agrees to be. If any portions of this license are
> unenforceable in applicable jurisdictions, this license cannot be accepted.
> The license text is provided under these terms.
> Rationale:
> First released in 2015 *(then named Comprehensible Open License)*, the
> Ritchey Permissive License aims to provide wide permissions, and ask little
> in return. It also strives to use plain language where possible *(this
> was the inspiration for its original name, and originally was prioritized
> above all else)*, and limit its size. The goals of this license are not
> unique, but the manner in which they are achieved is. That's what makes it
> a useful alternative to existing options, and is my rationale for
> submitting it.
> Distinguish:
> In terms of comparison to already OSI approved licenses, the Ritchey
> Permissive License v11 is most similar to the Zero-Clause BSD, ISC License
> (ISC), MIT No Attribution License, Fair License (Fair), MIT License, and
> 2-Clause BSD License. These licenses are all short, and grant wide
> permissions. But there are important differences.
> Like the Zero-Clause BSD license, and MIT No Attribution License, this
> license does not require a copy of the license to be included when
> distributing a work. This feature could result in downstream recipients of
> a work never seeing important disclaimers. Unlike the Zero-Clause BSD, and
> MIT No Attribution License, this license tries to provide some protection
> against that by shifting these responsibilities to the person sharing the
> work.
> Like the Zero-Clause BSD, Fair License (Fair), ISC License (ISC), MIT
> License, and 2-Clause BSD License it provides wide permissions. However
> they use a whitelist approach (eg: you can do x, y, z), and this license
> uses mostly a blacklist approach (eg: you can't do x, y, z). This
> difference is important, because x, y, and z may not be interpreted as
> intended. A whitelist approach prioritizes protecting a work. A blacklist
> approach prioritizes protecting the freedom of people to use the work. The
> MIT No Attribution License uses a blacklist approach, but the difference in
> wording may make one license more appealing than the other to potential
> users.
> Like the Fair License (Fair) which refers to products as "works" the
> Ritchey Permissive License v11 uses the inclusive term "material" so that
> the license can be better used with things beyond software (eg:
> documentation, icon packs, etc). The difference in the definitions of these
> terms may make one license more desirable over the other to potential users.
> Like the Zero-Clause BSD, ISC License (ISC), Fair License (Fair), MIT
> License, and 2-Clause BSD License the Ritchey Permissive License v11 is a
> short license that doesn't include a definitions section like larger
> licenses do. Unlike them, it binds itself to a jurisdiction, setting a
> basis for how terms may be interpreted.
> Legal review:
> No legal review of this license has been done. None is planned.
> Proliferation Category:
> I suggest the "Other/Miscellaneous licenses" category, because of its ties
> to Canadian law. While the license isn't made for Canadians, this link may
> limit its appeal to foreigners.
> In summary, the Ritchey Permissive License v11 is similar to existing
> options, but differences in features, or wording make it a useful
> alternative. That's why it was made.
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