[License-review] request for review of the 3D Slicer License

Lukas Atkinson opensource at LukasAtkinson.de
Fri May 28 18:51:59 UTC 2021

So I re-read Apache to see how it handles contributions and I cannot 
find the “very similar language”. Describing this as mere customization 
trivializes the difference. For the convenience of this list, I've 
quoted the most relevant sections below.

Apache-2.0 essentially just codifies “inbound = outbound” licensing. An 
entirely reasonable thing to do.

> 5. […] any Contribution intentionally submitted for inclusion in the Work by You to the Licensor shall be under the terms and conditions of this License, without any additional terms or conditions. […]
This is quite dissimilar to Part A of the Slicer license which signs 
over all rights without restriction.

> 4. You hereby grant to Brigham, with the right to sublicense, a perpetual, worldwide, non-exclusive, no charge, royalty-free, irrevocable license to use, reproduce, make derivative works of, display and distribute the Contribution. If your Contribution is protected by patent, you hereby grant to Brigham, with the right to sublicense, a perpetual, worldwide, non-exclusive, no-charge, royalty-free, irrevocable license under your interest in patent rights covering the Contribution, to make, have made, use, sell and otherwise transfer your Contribution, alone or in combination with any other code.

They are only similar in the sense in that contributions are discussed 
explicitly (which is good!). In any case, we can agree that the Slicer 
terms are problematic in the context of OSI approval.

On 28/05/2021 19:58, Christopher Sean Morrison via License-review wrote:
>> From: Lukas Atkinson <opensource at LukasAtkinson.de>
>> However, I don't think the Part A Contribution Agreement should be
>> covered by an OSI approval decision. It's an unconstrained CLA to the
>> benefit of a particular party, not an Open Source license to the public.
>> From: Josh Berkus <josh at berkus.org>
>> Agreed.  Part A is a straight-up CLA, and should be separate from the
>> software license.  I really don't see how we can approve it as-is (or,
>> for that matter, why any lawyer thought it was a good idea to have two
>> separate documents joined at the hip this way).
> It’s worth noting that the Apache 2.0 license has very similar language with respect to Contributions and Contributors, CLA-territory language, and is nearly identical in some clauses.  I get the sense this license was very much crafted in that awareness, customized successfully for their field.
> Having it be part of the license is not unprecedented but does appear to be potentially problematic as to how it’s been customized here.

More information about the License-review mailing list