[License-review] OSD #9 would not make SSPL OSD-incompliant

Lawrence Rosen lrosen at rosenlaw.com
Tue Oct 23 20:59:17 UTC 2018

Bruce Perens suggested:

> And we can fix OSD #9 with a two word addition "or performed" as soon as the board can meet.


I hope not that way. 


There is lots of legal subtlety here: The phrase "or communicate" was added in OSL 3.0 section 3(c) to encompass concerns of European lawyers that "making available" should also be inferred in the license grants. And anyway, in OSL 3.0 the permission to "perform" the work was already explicit in section 3(d), regardless of what the OSD said at that time.


OSI-approved licenses can clean up what's not explicit in the OSD and they can clarify the law-of-the-case. For example, the GPL concept of excluding "private uses within organizations" (whatever those are!) from copyleft has been debated regularly even though the OSD and the law are vague on that. Also, as a matter of law, I don't think that a copyright performance license has anything specific to do with network uses of software, but I trust other lawyers here to describe the cases on "performance" to justify their own open source licenses. 


When I wrote OSL 3.0, I thought that we can better rely on an intelligent and expanded definition of copyright "distribution" rights rather than "performance" rights to satisfy this network software copyleft requirement. 





From: Bruce Perens <bruce at perens.com> 
Sent: Tuesday, October 23, 2018 1:06 PM
To: Lawrence Rosen <lrosen at rosenlaw.com>; License submissions for OSI review <license-review at lists.opensource.org>
Subject: Re: [License-review] OSD #9 would not make SSPL OSD-incompliant


Well, we have sufficient reason to reject the SSPL not counting OSD #9, simply because the overreach is so large that it's not honestly an Open Source license. We're not falling on our swords because of this. And we can fix OSD #9 with a two word addition "or performed" as soon as the board can meet. But it's annoying. OK, I didn't have any lawyers that would help me, not even Larry Rosen.






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