[License-discuss] [Non-DoD Source] Re: Resources to discourage governments from bespoke licenses?

Richard Fontana rfontana at redhat.com
Sat Feb 29 19:42:06 UTC 2020

On Fri, Feb 28, 2020 at 6:03 PM McCoy Smith <mccoy at lexpan.law> wrote:
> Looks like you're referring to Bryan Guerts (a NASA lawyer), who submitted NOSA 2.0 (not 3.0) on June 13, 2013: https://lists.opensource.org/pipermail/license-review_lists.opensource.org/2013-June/001944.html
> As far as I can tell, there was sporadic discussion of that license -- which included Bryan -- until it appears to have been rejected in January, 2017: https://lists.opensource.org/pipermail/license-review_lists.opensource.org/2017-January/002933.html

NOSA 2.0 was not rejected as such -- the definitive statement by the
OSI board was in November 2017:

"Resolved, That, in view of the length, complexity, and ambiguities in the
submitted drafts of the NASA Open Source Agreement version 2.0, it is the
opinion of the OSI that the conformance of NOSA 2.0 to the OSD cannot be
assured. OSI thus can neither approve nor reject the license, and NASA is
invited to submit a new draft of NOSA for consideration by the OSI."

Nigel wrote:
> >>Then a board member said nah, I’m not even going to let it go for a vote.  I’m just going to sit on it for years until I can say the list recommends not to approve because the only three people left talking about it is some nobody, Richard and Bruce so the “majority” of the list is “against” and the license submitter has stopped responding.

Nigel, I am sorry you are still so angry about how NOSA 2.0 was dealt
with. In retrospect I would have tried to convince the OSI board to
reject the license outright early on. I would say that, until a year
or so ago, the OSI board was reluctant to formally reject any
submitted licenses, not as a matter of formal policy or anything, but
rather as a kind of institutional custom, although earlier in OSI's
history there were apparently a few outright rejections. That
reluctance is possibly still evident in the recent disposition of the
Vaccine License (see:
which is as rejection-worthy as any formally submitted license I've
seen. It's also worth remembering that the OSI streamlined its license
review process last year in large part because of the experience with
the NOSA 2.0 submission.

Also, I think Bruce Perens's comments on NOSA 2.0 only occurred after
the board issued its "can neither approve nor reject" statement in
November 2017. I got the sense that it was that board statement that
alerted him to the license submission. (I'm not sure who you mean by
"some nobody".)

McCoy wrote:
> The committee report in Jan 2017 doesn't list who voted, or what the vote was (they now at least indicate the vote), so I'm not sure how you conclude this.  I don't see that Bruce Perens was involved in any of the discussions, nor does it appear he was part of the vote in Jan 2017: https://opensource.org/minutes20170111 .

Bruce Perens, a co-founder of the OSI, hasn't been on the OSI board
since *1999*. See: https://lwn.net/Articles/274354/. He has been
sporadically active on license-discuss and license-review at various
times over the years, including the past couple of years (until fairly


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