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I understand the rationale of this license and see where it is
What is the rationale to exclude a retaliation clause from the
patent license, which is I would say quite a predominant choice
for this type of grant even in patent non assertion deeds? This is
not an objection, the retaliation is obviously not something that
would increase the compliance with OSD, more of a curiosity thing.<br>
My only criticism to the license is with the patent grant, which
mixes the concepts of copyright title and contribution. I think
that the patent right should be granted to and by all who provide
contributions to the licensed material, whether or not they have
copyright title (in theory they should, but exceptions must
exist), therefore in my humble opinion the solution adopted by the
Apache license is more elegant, although it has some shortcomings
itself, which the proposed license seems to seek to address.<br>
Would this license, in your analysis, cover the following use
case: patent holder A takes code X from B, mixes it with code Y,
distributes X+Y; A has patents only reading on X; B also uses and
distributes X+Y. Would B (as well as any recipient of X+Y) receive
a patent grant from A for this? This in my reading would not be
the case of Apache (but I might be mistaken, I have not studied it
in depth). A is not contributor of X, neither does it technically
hold copyright in X.<br>
Other than that, I think that I am in favor of approving a similar
license. I have discussed on this list that BSD brings uncertainty
on patents (as does GPL v.2, for that matter), this addition is
useful to clarify things a lot (though still not a fan of BSD).<br>
With best regards,<br>
On 13/01/2016 19:57, Smith, McCoy wrote:<br>
<pre wrap="">OSI License Submission for BSD + Patent License
The attached license is submitted to the Open Source Initiative for approval as an OSI-approved Open Source license.
This license has been created to address a specific problem that has been encountered with existing licenses: the desire of certain organizations to have a simple permissive license that is compatible with the GNU General Public License (GPL), version 2, but which also has an express patent grant included.
This license should be categorized as a “Special Purpose License,” or, alternatively, as an approved variant of the BSD 2-clause license.
DISTINGUISHING FROM OTHER OSI-APPROVED LICENSES:
The BSD 2-clause license is currently categorized as one of the “Licenses that are popular and widely used or with strong communities.” The BSD 2-clause license is also considered by the Free Software Foundation (FSF) to be compatible with both GPLv2 and GPLv3. However, some organizations – particularly those with large or valuable patent portfolios – are reluctant to use the BSD (and MIT) licenses because of the lack of an express patent license grant in those licenses. Because of that issue, many patent holders prefer to use the Apache 2.0 license when they wish to license code permissively, since it has an express, and well-written, patent license grant. Unfortunately, the FSF has determined that the Apache 2.0 license is not compatible with GPLv2 because “it has some requirements that are not in that GPL version. These include certain patent termination and indemnification provisions.”
There is currently only one GPLv2-compatible permissive license that includes an express patent license – the relatively-recently approved Universal Permissive License (UPL). In the past, this has created a problem for some authors wishing to license their code permissively, but also including an express patent license grant, and also having the license be GPLv2 compatible so that users have the ability to integrate that code into GPLv2-licensed code (including, for example, the Linux kernel). Although the UPL provides such an option, we believe that users will still wish to have a license with more familiar, and widely accepted licensing language (like a BSD-variant) that solves the issue of an express patent grant and GPLv2 compatibility.
We believe that this license is non-duplicative (for the reasons set forth above), as it solves an issue all but one OSI-approved license solves (permissive, express patent license grant, GPLv2 compatibility). The license itself is a combination of language from the BSD 2-clause license, the Apache 2.0 license, and the Eclipse Public License (all of which are already OSI-approved, and all of which are in the category of “Licenses that are popular and widely used or with strong communities”). It therefore should meet all the criteria of the OSD.
The text of the license is reproduced below. We have also included an attached mark-up of the license showing where the language comes from BSD 2-clause, Apache 2.0 and Eclipse. The patent grant from Apache 2.0 and Eclipse were used because the combination of the two was more tightly-worded and fit better with the existing language in the BSD 2-clause license. Note that we have removed the “patent termination/retaliation” language from both of these licenses because this language is one of the reasons why Apache 2.0 has been found to be incompatible with GPLv2.
In keeping with the License Approval Process submission guidelines:
1. We have read the Open Source Definition and ensured that this license complies with it (and in fact, this license is an amalgamation of already OSI-approved licenses).
2. This is an Approval submission, as this is a new license (albeit derived from existing OSI-approved licenses).
3. We have appropriate standing to submit this request, as this license was created by us (again, derived from existing OSI-approved licenses).
4. We are subscribed to license-review.
5. This communication is our formal request to license-review.
Please approve this license for inclusion on the OSI approved license list.
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