[License-review] Review: Zeppelin Public License

Pamela Chestek pamela.chestek at opensource.org
Sun Feb 25 20:35:27 UTC 2024

The Board voted at its January 19, 2024 meeting 
<https://opensource.org/meeting-minutes/2024-01-19> not to approve the 
Zeppelin Public License. The License Committee Recommendation to the 
Board is appended below.

Pamela Chestek
Chair, License Committee
Open Source Initiative


License: Zeppelin Public License version 1.0 (Exhibit A)
Submitted: October 19, 2023, 

Decision date: due no later than the first Board meeting after December 
19, 2023.

License Review Committee Recommendation:

Resolved that it is the opinion of the OSI that the Zepplin Public 
License version 1.0  does not conform to the OSD and assure software 
freedom and the license is therefore not approved as an Open Source 
Initiative Certified license.

Rationale Document

Reasons for withholding approval: The license is poorly drafted, leading 
to interpretation problems that might mean that the license is not 
OSD-compliant. For example, the license says in section 1 “Any 
contributions shall be licensed to the terms of the license.” A 
“contribution” is not defined, which means it might not be a derivative 
work of the original work, which would violate OSD 9 (“The license must 
not place restrictions on other software that is distributed along with 
the licensed software.”). In particular, the license says in section 5 
“The license may not be modified other than the addition of clauses 
(also known as sublicensing), modification of the marked boilerplate 
components of the license, and if the maintainer of the origin, the 
removal of clauses.” These permitted changes to the license means that 
the license can be changed from OSD-compliant to non-compliant.

The two comments on the license are here 
and here 

The license submitter has not responded to the critique of the license.

Exhibit A

Zeppelin Public License Version 1.0
(c) [year] [name]
Permission is hereby granted to anyone who wishes to use this software 
for distribution in source or binary form, modification, publishing, 
redistribution with or without modification, commercial, consumer, 
private, and/or special usage, under the following conditions:

   1. Any contributions shall be licensed to the terms of the license. 
You may not change the licensing of your contributions without prior 
approval of the maintainer(s) of the project.

   2. You may not falsely represent the original source of the software; 
for example, you may not tell people you created or wrote this project 
if you are not the author or maintainer.

   3. You must disclose the source, and retain the licensing, ad verbum, 
in the source form, including this notice. You are not required to 
disclose the license in the binary form
of the software, however it is strongly recommended; you must, however, 
attribute the origin in the binary form.

   4. You may not use the names of the copyright holders and/or the 
contributors/developers for endorsement of a derivative of this software 
unless you were given explicit, written consent from the individuals you 
wish to use their names. This include trademark, trade name, service 
name and product name. Exception is granted for attribution to the 
origin of the derivative.

   5. The license may not be modified other than the addition of clauses 
(also known as sublicensing), modification of the marked boilerplate 
components of the license, and if the maintainer of the origin, the 
removal of clauses.


On 10/19/2023 10:06 AM, Not An FBI Agent via License-review wrote:
> Hello! I made my own license that I wish to submit for review. I have 
> submitted the license in a text file on the e-mail, and it complies 
> with the open-source standards. No projects currently use it other 
> than the projects that I am currently making, which are in private 
> GitHub repositories. I am also the license steward. The name of the 
> license is /Zeppelin Public License//Version 1.0/.
> The gap that the project is to fill the hole between permissive and 
> weak-copyleft, as I believe that while both are good, I prefer 
> something in the middle. I believe that the most similar license to 
> the Zeppelin Public License is the Apache License, and comparing and 
> contrasting it shows that both the Apache License and the Zeppelin 
> Public Licenses are permissive, both support the open-source movement, 
> both support the rights of software creators, both support the rights 
> of users, and both support the rights of derivative works. Some 
> differences are that the Apache is extremely verbose whilst the 
> Zeppelin Public License is shorter and simpler, as well as being a 
> little bit more permissive. Unfortunately, due to my age, I could not 
> get a lawyer to review the license, however after reading it a dozen 
> of times, it seems legally plausible.
> Thank you!
> -- 
> *Not A Federal Agent*
> No seriously, I'm not a fed
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> totallynotafed at fbi.ac is not a federal agent, nor is related to any 
> federal agencies. Any similarities to real feds are purely coincidental
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