[License-review] For approval: The Cryptographic Autonomy License (Beta 4)

Bruce Perens bruce at perens.com
Thu Dec 5 06:24:45 UTC 2019

s/Holonet/Holochain/ Sorry.

On Wed, Dec 4, 2019 at 10:22 PM Bruce Perens <bruce at perens.com> wrote:

> Hi Van,
> I hope you've been well.
> The purpose of the CAL is to protect the Holochain (https://holochain.org/)
> from bad actors who would sequester user data. I am exploring whether it
> could possibly be effective at that, which of course has some implication
> on its usefulness.
> Is there anything in the terms that would prevent a developer from reading
> the entire code base, and developing a detailed understanding of how it
> works?
> Would anything in the terms prevent a developer from documenting how
> Holochain (or any other licensed code) works, and publicly distributing
> that document under a different license from the original code? Assume that
> the document only renders descriptions of the functionality necessary for
> interoperability.
> Would anything in the terms prevent any developer from taking that
> document, and implementing an interoperable program under any license, or
> no license?
> Would the CAL terms prevent such an interoperable program from operating
> as a Holonet node?
> Does Holonet have any other legal means of preventing such an
> interoperable program from operating as a Holonet node?
> Can the CAL data terms, and the overall intent to keep user data available
> to the user on Holonet, thus be circumvented by anyone who takes the
> trouble to develop an interoperable program?
> And if the answer is no, even if the program is under an OSI-approved
> license?
>     Thanks
>     Bruce
> On Wed, Dec 4, 2019 at 12:31 PM VanL <van.lindberg at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Based upon ongoing discussions with the license review committee, I am
>> withdrawing Beta 3 and substituting Beta 4 (here attached).
>> The primary change between Beta 3 and Beta 4 is the definition of "User
>> Data."
>> My understanding of OSI's position is that data requirements, such as are
>> addressed by the CAL, are within scope of what an open source license can
>> reasonably address. However, there was a request by the committee to more
>> tightly define the definition of "User Data" so that it was more closely
>> tied to function and experience of using the software by a user who chooses
>> to self-host.
>> In consultation with my client, we have proposed and received positive
>> feedback on the following modified definition of User Data (most
>> significant change bolded):
>> “User Data” means any data that is an input to or an output from the
>> Work, *where the presence of the data is necessary for substantially
>> identical use of the Work in an equivalent context chosen by the Recipient*,
>> and where the Recipient has an existing ownership interest, an existing
>> right to possess, or where the data has been generated by, for, or has been
>> assigned to the Recipient.
>> There are also a few cleanups and the following minor but substantive
>> changes:
>> - Section 7.4, There is a definition of "prevailing party" for attorney
>> fee awards (" A “prevailing party” is the party that achieves, or avoids,
>> compliance with this License, including through settlement.")
>> - Section 5.3, Enforcing against a terminated licensee does not cause
>> termination for the license-enforcing party  ("Administrative review
>> procedures, declaratory judgment actions, counterclaims in response to
>> patent litigation, and enforcement actions against former Licensees
>> terminated under this section do not cause termination due to litigation.")
>> All other discussion regarding CAL Betas 2 and 3 should apply.
>> From the original submission:
>> *Rationale:* The CAL is a new network copyleft license especially
>> applicable for distributed systems. It is designed to be as protective as
>> possible of downstream recipients of the software, providing them all that
>> they need to create and use an independent copy of a licensed work without
>> losing functionality or data.
>> *Distinguish:* The CAL is most similar to the AGPL, and will have a
>> similar scope of action in most cases. However, the CAL has provisions that
>> require that operators provide recipients of the software with a copy of
>> their user data, enhancing their ability to independently use the software.
>> The CAL also allows the creation of mixed "Larger Works," provides for
>> affiliate use, and does not specify a mechanism by which notice is given to
>> recipients.
>> *Legal Analysis*: The CAL was drafted by legal counsel. Previous
>> discussions have outlined many aspects of the legal analysis.
>> A copy the the license in Markdown format is attached. For those who
>> would prefer it, a Google Docs version of the license is viewable here:
>> https://docs.google.com/document/d/1-eD9EH6i3wdSXgG4XJbF-a0cSSknOERjYzlVonOwAQ0/edit?usp=sharing
>> _______________________________________________
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> --
> Bruce Perens - Partner, OSS.Capital.

Bruce Perens - Partner, OSS.Capital.
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