[License-review] OSD #9 would not make SSPL OSD-incompliant
lrosen at rosenlaw.com
Thu Oct 25 02:33:48 UTC 2018
Bruce Perens wrote:
> It's fundamental to Open Source that everyone can run the program for any purpose.
That isn't quite true. OSL 3.0 is explicitly not a license to everyone. It defines as follows to clarify that ambiguous term "mere use":
14) Definition of "You" in This License. "You" throughout this License, whether in upper or lower case, means an individual or a legal entity exercising rights under, and complying with all of the terms of, this License. For legal entities, "You" includes any entity that controls, is controlled by, or is under common control with you. For purposes of this definition, "control" means (i) the power, direct or indirect, to cause the direction or management of such entity, whether by contract or otherwise, or (ii) ownership of fifty percent (50%) or more of the outstanding shares, or (iii) beneficial ownership of such entity.
I believe that also helps solve the problem of separating "internal use" from "network use" for network-copyleft purposes. For example, if an insurance company distributes an open source copyleft app for its agents to use on the Internet for selling policies, it would be relevant to ask if those "agents" are employees or 1099 contractors, or perhaps other companies taking advantage of free software. I don't guess at hypotheticals, though, so I leave that example for you.
Bruce Perens wrote:
> So, it has been obvious from the start that proprietary software folks could leverage their business in various ways using Open Source without giving back in any way.
They must, however, obey the other conditions in the license, including copyleft and network-copyleft, patent reciprocity and defense, attribution, etc. We on license-review debate such proposed license conditions all the time. Nothing but public domain is truly "free."
From: License-review <license-review-bounces at lists.opensource.org> On Behalf Of Bruce Perens
Sent: Wednesday, October 24, 2018 5:56 PM
To: License submissions for OSI review <license-review at lists.opensource.org>
Subject: Re: [License-review] OSD #9 would not make SSPL OSD-incompliant
> They can use our best tools, but we can't use theirs.
It's fundamental to Open Source that everyone can run the program for any purpose. And as we have discussed in the past, they shouldn't even have to read the license to do that. So, it has been obvious from the start that proprietary software folks could leverage their business in various ways using Open Source without giving back in any way.
Anyone can create their own license and call it "Business Source", and give it rules that prevent some forms of use. But I don't think it's at all attractive to throw out the ability for anyone to run the software for any purpose, in the name of making someone's business method work. So, to the extent that it's necessary to make crystal clear what was always intended, I am recommending a change in the definition.
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