[License-discuss] For Approval: Scripting Free Software License, Version (S-FSL v1.3.7.2)

Elmar Stellnberger estellnb at gmail.com
Sun Dec 1 20:24:02 UTC 2013

Submission Type:
     Other/Miscellaneous licenses

The license itself:
     Scripting Free Software License, Version (S-FSL v1.3.7.2)
     :: see for the attachement

Link to previous public discussions:

     Submitting the latest version before the review process may start.

At least the following programs are currently at stake to be licensed 
under S-FSL:
     http://www.elstel.org/qemu: confinedrv
     http://www.elstel.org/coan/      (port to Modula-3 currently being 
discussed at the Modula3-devel mailing list)
     customer stock master data management framework for a small/mid 
size company (MySQL/PHP, project at Liscon)

The following improvements towards v1.3.6 have been incorporated into 

* compiling/ automatic derivation is handled sufficiently
* some minor updates

Motivation for a new license:
The license should satisfy some business needs while engaging a similar
contribution model as other open source licenses. i.e. re-licensing
is only granted to the original authors or current copyright holders.
see in detail for the previous approval mails.

Elmar Stellnberger

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 Scripting Free Software License, Version (S-FSL v1.3.7.2) as provided by elstel.org/license

1. This program may be used free of charge. It has been designed as research work and comes without claim for fitness to any particular usage purpose and completely without warranty or any kind of liability such as lost revenues, profits, harm or damage of any kind.

2. The program may be distributed by a third party given that the program is distributed in its original state completely without any kind of modifications or patches. If you need to re-distribute a patched of this program you need to distribute the patches separately from the original so that the pristine version can be restored at any time. Note that the distribution of a derivative plus reverse applicable patches will be deemed equivalent to the distribution of a pristine version plus forward applicable patches. No patches that could be shipped use to exist for automatic derivation processes like f.i. the compilation of sources. By applying automatic derivations you consent that you will provide all makefiles or any other additional input which is required for the derivation process to the original authors under the same licensing and same terms as patches. An OSS-tool to achieve these derivations must be available for free to the public. It needs to yield functionally equivalent results as the binaries you distribute and work with the input files you have shipped. We suggest you to ship binaries and sources in different packages.

3. Modifications applied to this program may not affect the name, original version, copyright, license or any reference given to the authors such as their email addresses or their web presence and/or page in any part of the program or any files attached to the program apart from updates to these references made by the respective authors themselves. You as a distributor need to let your contributors add their names, their email and modifications with date to the changelog. You may use the upstream changelog if present or your own one as long as it stays accessible upstreams. Any derived work must carry the name of the distributor, vendor or the product in its name (or a unique shorthand for it) directly preceded by the original unchanged final upstream name of the software and its version at the beginning. For automatic derivations a tag concerning the derivation process or its output like f.i. the machine architecture would be appropriate. You must not charge for the programs under S-FSL themselves but you may require a reasonable charge for the physical reproduction of the data.

4. You may only extend or modify this program given that you do also consent with the following terms. As far as you are not a public distributor you are obliged to send a copy of your patches to the original authors referred to herein as the authors of the first version of the program as being listed in the changelog or program header whenever you publish or exchange your patches with other people. If you have some work in progress you are obliged to send out bundled patches once at least every month. This is to assert the availability and recognition of patches at least by the original authors or branch maintainers; a condition which must be held even if you agree not to actively 'send' or 'forward' your patches. For bundled patches you do not need to ship intermediate patches or dead end patches provided that the final derived work can be restored by applying all distributed patches to the original in an order indicated by the patch providers. Something is considered a dead end patch if it leads to a broken program, the result is not usable and you do not plan to continue to work on it. The original authors will finally have to resolve whether to incorporate your patches or not into future versions. Any contributor has the right to be listed with full name, patching date and email address in the changelog of this program.

5. By distributing patches you do also consent that the original authors may incorporate your patches into future versions of this program. The patched parts of the program and the patches themselves will also become subject to this licensing and may even be used for free in other programs or in the same program under different licensing as soon as you choose to publish any kind of patch; i.e. you need to be ready to share your full intellectual property rights with the original authors whenever you choose to exchange, distribute or publish any kind of patch to this program. Sharing your intellectual property means that both parties - you and the original authors - obtain the full set of rights about your modifications which were initially only associated with you. The propagation of rights extends up to usage rights for patents used in derived works including the transferability of usage rights to child and parent branches; it does however not extend up to trademarks. Trademarks used in derived works may only be used by the original authors to describe the origin of newly incorporated features if they wish to do so.

6. If you want to develop a separate branch of this program the original authors need to consent as long as the software may be subject to further development by them; if not that should be indicated by them denominating either new copyright holders with the same right as the original authors or by publishing under a different license. If S-FSL 'with free branching' is explicitly specified in the license terms then you may choose to develop a different branch of this program any time you want given that your new branch serves a new purpose or is sufficiently different so that the original authors do choose not to re-integrate your branch at least for two patching periods. Separate branches have another base name and their own versioning scheme. A new branch will work under the same license and have the same rights as the original concerning the incorporation and management of patches giving the original issuers of the branch equivalent rights as the original authors for the scope of their branch. Branched versions do however need to forward and share patches including all associated property rights with their parent branch. Branched versions can not re-publish under a different license or use patches, patents or other intellectual property of the maintainers of the parent branch in a new context unless explicit consent from the maintainers of the parent branch is given. Hence the propagation of rights as described in the previous paragraph does automatically work in upstream direction only. The maintainers of the original product or any of its branches may any time transfer their rights to a new or extended group of people. The new copyright holders can thereupon act as the original authors or issuers of the branch called branch maintainers.

7. The term distribution describes shipping an aggregate of software, its documentation and adherent materials. Any distribution which wants to assimilate software under S-FSL needs to take the following minimal provisions: It must be possible to verify the download of a whole image as far as provided securely by a publicly available tool and a checksum which is exposed to the broad public. Additional keys may be provided in any kind of way. Security updates and updates against broken functionality must also be available to the public rather than just to a paying customer stock as long as they pertain to software that can either be downloaded or compiled from sources by the public and which pertain to the distribution. Note that updates do not include upgrades to future upstream versions of a program. Available to the public implies here available free of charge apart from connectivity to the internet or a reasonable charge for the reproduction of the data medium and does also pertain to the terms 'public distribution' and 'public distributor'. 

8. Public distributions have the advantage of not having to ship patches proactively to the original authors or copyright holders. This does not prevent the same software including its adherent materials to be additionally available at cost or privately somewhere else as long as public availability remains guaranteed at a reasonable level (f.i. download of the free parts of the distribution within some days.). A public distribution may any time also ship with adherent materials at cost such as documentation, support or additional software as long as it remains available to the public free of charge also without these adherent materials. However there must not be any undue hindrance in obtaining the distribution requiring special knowledge not known by users technically experienced in the field of the public software shipped with the distribution and the software it depends on.

9. Software under S-FSL that should either be used as or in a component, plug-in or add-on of 'non public' or so called 'additional' software or whenever software under S-FSL is required to run such 'non public' or 'additional' software then S-FSL imposes the restriction that the additional or non public software must also either be made available under an OSS-compliant license and free of charge to the public or that you will need to pay for the software under S-FSL being incorporated. A license is to be deemed OSS-compliant if it has been accepted by opensource.org.

10. If any of the terms stated in this license were not in accordance with local law all other parts of this license should remain valid. If any of the terms about sharing patches should be deemed invalid modifying the software and sharing patches shall no more be granted from the time of the realization of the decision of the court on in the given country or region; already shared and incorporated patches are still subject to the given terms and conditions as far as deemed valid; the license needs to be re-issued then in order to allow further modifications and sharing of patches again.

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