[License-review] OSI License Review Summary:

Patrick Masson masson at opensource.org
Mon Dec 2 19:24:35 UTC 2019

Dear OSI community,

Please let me introduce Amol Meshram who, beginning with this report,
will be providing monthly summaries of the License-Discuss and License-
Review mailing lists. Amol will be taking over from Lukas Atkinson who
was previously providing the monthly reports. We'd like to thank Lukas
for his help, and welcome Amol.

Please feel free to send Amol (amoel.meshram at opensource.org) or me (
masson at opensource.org) any suggestion you may have regarding the
reports' content, accuracy, or format. We will try our best to address
your feedback to ensure the summaries represent the views of the
community, serve as a useful resource, and help make the discussions
lively and fruitful.

In Oct 2019, License-Review mailing list members discussed below
mentioned topics;

1. For Legacy Approval: OpenLDAP Public:
Jilayne pointed out that there are many versions of the OpenLDAP
license available on spdx.org. So, Jilayne wanted to know from OSI
committee which OpenLDAP version it is approving for the purpose of
open source licensing. To this Pamela Chestek on behalf of OSI
confirmed that OSI approved the OpenLDAP Public License Version 2.8, 17
August 2003" which is identical to what SPDX has as OLDAP-2.8.

2. Coherent Open Source: Getting underway next Friday:
Nothing much discussed so did not write summary of this topic.

3. The Vaccine License: 
Filli Liberandum submitted The Vaccine License for approval to Open
Source Initiative.
Florian Weimer after going through The Vaccine License document found
that “Complying person” clause does not list any ‘medical’
contraindications for waiver eligibility. So, Florian Weimer wanted to
know whether this exclusion is done deliberately or not? Filli
Liberandum was surprised by the interpretations of Florian Weimer and
suggested to read it as "which
are appropriate for the patient’s medical condition" and asked whether
this interpretation is addressed the query or not?

Carlo Piana is not in favour of The Vaccine License and she feels it is
a trolling exercise. Filli Liberandum suggested to Carlo Paina to read
the mailing list code of conduct. In furtherance to it, Filli
Liberandum explained why there is a necessity of acknowledging The
Vaccine License by OSI board and its members. 
Anand Chowdhary based on his experience of adding privacy compliance
under twente open source license pointed out that there are better ways
to protect privacy of individuals like local/national/international
regulation instead of protecting it through open source license. He is
of the opinion that there are better ways to advocate for vaccination
and open source license is not the better way to advocate for it. 
Filli Liberandum countered to Anand Chowdhary by citing example of
Cryptography Autonomy License of Mr. Lindstrom which ask for some
release of data as a condition and head of OSI has publicly accepted
this condition. Pamela Chestek brought into notice of Filli Liberandum
that OSI did not endorse the view of Mr. Simon (referred head of OSI by
Filli) on Cryptography Autonomy License data condition clause. Simon
Phipps is member of the board along with others. Mr. Simon views on CAL
are personal. 
Filli Liberandum raised a concern with respect to archives as it
is  stuck in a plaintext mode. 
Simon Phipps suggested to Filli Liberandum to familiarize with License-
review process and change the tone of message and requested to leave
moderating to the moderators to which Filli agreed and responded that
here onwards Filli will directly reach out to concerned members.
Gil Yehuda responded to Fil that Licenses usually do ask for things in
return and appreciated the efforts of Fil in writing The Vaccine
License, while considering the OSD. Gil raised an important point of
enforceability of The Vaccine License in the real life scenario. Gil is
of the opinion that one can right a blog and promote the importance of
the idea instead of restricting it with copyright license. To buttress
claim, Gil cited article written by Selam G which convinced Gil to
support Free Software Movement. The reason behind citing this article
is to explore other platforms instead of publishing work under
copyright license. 

Carlo Piana responded to Fil that The Vaccine License is discriminatory
and non-enforceable in nature. Carlo thinks that vaccination can be
achieved through local authorities instead of enforcing it through
copyright license. Carlo believes one should provoke reactions rather
than genuine attempt of having a license approved. 
Josh Berkus agrees with Carlo on provoking reactions from members on
license instead of attempting for approving the license. Josh suggested
to take this submission as a use case and put it on opensource.org for
future reference. 
Carlo Piana is of the same view that opensource.org should take this
submission as a use case for future submissions to avoid duplication of
Bruce Perens is also of the opinion that a direct law on vaccination
will be more effective than a license. Similarly, Bruce also wrote two
blog posts on the issue of “ethical” licenses wherein Bruce referred
the proposed The Vaccine License. 
Grahame Grieve replied to Bruce’s blog post and appreciated the efforts
of writing blog post on ethical license and also the basic arguments
put forwards by Bruce. But Grahame bothered by the lack of ethics in
the Vaccine License, judging vaccine license solely based on
enforceability clause. Similarly, Grahame wanted to know whether the
lawyers, courts and violators laugh at license and is there any
precedent on when someone gives something of value away, on the
condition that it not used in a particular way? Bruce Perens replied to
all the queries of Graham Grieve. Firstly, Bruce Perens claims blog
post argument is based on law instead of license terms. Secondly, Bruce
has experience in handling litigation for various reasons and Bruce
wants other should not get into litigation for same cause of action.
Lastly, Bruce said Lawyers, courts and violators laugh at license and
this whole exercise will be term as a ‘‘copyright misuse’’.  
Kevin P. Fleming replied to Graham and pointed that The Vaccine License
does not talk about goals instead it focusses on action to be performed
which is not in sync with the use of the software. Similarly, Kevin is
of the opinion that The Vaccine License violates the OSD 5. To this
Grahame Grieve countered by saying if The Vaccine license is applied to
health software then in such scenario would Kevin change his opinion.
Van Lindberg appreciated various aspect of the Vaccine License and
efforts put forward by Fil in creating the vaccine license. But Van
feels the Vaccine License does not qualify for OSS because it imposes
conditions which are logically separate from and wholly unrelated to
scope intellectual property rights that are licensed. Similarly, Van
attempted to answer the question on what scope of action can be
required of a license? Van observed if restrictions are closely related
to the exercise of the intellectual property rights granted under
license then such restrictions make sense and compatible with OSD. 
Filli Liberandum replied to analysis of Van and requested to reverse
engineer the rules from the approved licenses which Fil believe will
lead us to conclusion that the Vaccine License attempt is not an
accidental in nature. 
Josh Berkus feels that The Vaccine License is very good example for
‘’unrelated conditions’’ license which can be referred in future as a
textbook example to differentiate between what kind of licenses OSS
supports and what can’t be supported by OSS license. 

4. Resubmission of the European Space Agency Public Licenses (ESA-PL)
for approval:
Pamela Chestek apologised for not acting on ESA Public Licenses and
confirmed that separates threads have been three licenses. Filli
Liberandum shared the link of three different threads with members for

5. ESA Permissive PL 2.3:
Pamela Chestek replied to old thread dated May 6, 2018 on ESA
Permissive PL 2.3 wherein Carsten Gerlach suggested a notice text in
the license FAQ instead of amending the language of the license. Pamela
thinks this position is in contravention to US law which says where the
licensor is not the ESA, any statements made by the ESA would be

6. ESA-PL Weak 2.3:
Pamera Chestek has below mentioned queries with respect to Section 3.1
of the Weak 2.3 license. 
    1. Can a licensor choose what license will be used for their
    2. If one receives code under the ESA-PL Weak Copyleft license, can
we sublicense it under the GPLv3?
    3. How will the term ‘’extension’’ will be interpreted in as per
wording mentioned in Section 3.2.1 of the Weak and Strong license?
    4. What will happen if separate work in integrated to form a larger
program, but it’s not in or on a volume of a storage or distribution
medium, does that mean the license does not apply?
Bruce Perens finds there is a problem with text mentioned in ESA-PL
Weak License which is more harmful to ESA itself. 

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Patrick Masson
General Manager & Director, Open Source Initiative
855 El Camino Real, Ste 13A, #270
Palo Alto, CA 94301
United States
Office: (415) 857-5398
Mobile: (970) 4MASSON
Freenode: OSIMasson
Email: masson at opensource.org
Website: www.opensource.org
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