Nikolai's License (nameless)

Matthew Seth Flaschen superm40 at
Sun Dec 18 21:55:53 UTC 2005

I'd like to explain once and for all why the license (it doesn't seem to have a name) is clearly not OSD-compliant.  Nikolai, you're free to use it, but it will never be approved by the OSI.


OSD#1: You allow people to copy "Copy any any quantitiy" but can only "Use copies for free, if this use is not for making money."  One of your definitions of use is exploit; selling a work is a type of exploitation. This prevents people from selling a work without paying a fee.  The violates #1 because "the license shall not require a ... fee for such sale."

OSD #3: "same terms as the license of the original software."  Not true for a variety of reasons.  For example: The original work is distributed on a media specified by the author (new project on a particular website).  The modified work can only be distributed as an "annotation" to the project on the existing website, if I read it correctly.

OSD #6: "no discrimination against fields of endevour".  The license discriminates based on whether the usage is commercial.

OSD #7: The license must apply to users of deriviative works automatically.  However, (at least if commercial use is involved) you demand they complete some kind of registration and pay a fee.

OSD #8: "The rights attached to the program must not depend on the program's being part of a particular software distribution." They clearly do. Among other things, the license constantly references the web site of the original product, and your payment scheme (already unacceptable) depends on whether one is the original author.

OSD #10: The "license must be technology-neutral".  Many parts of your license depend on the involvement of the web or blogs.  However, this restricts distribution (at least commercially) outside these channels.  

Please remember.  I am not criticizing your license or saying you can't use it.  I am explaining why it will not be approved by the OSI without substantial modifications.

-Matthew Seth Flaschen

More information about the License-discuss mailing list