[License-review] Request for Approval of 'CasperLabs Open Source License (COSL)

McCoy Smith mccoy at lexpan.law
Wed Dec 11 00:36:33 UTC 2019

The difference here is that agreeing to the contributor agreement *is an obligation of the license.*  Using a separate CLA as part of the process of taking in contributions for a specific project does not obligate users of code licensed under the license for that project to agree to such a CLA (it just prevents those users from having their contributions accepted upstream).
Note also this license requires you to agree upfront to the maintainer relicensing your code under different terms at a later point.  I think a lot of people find that also problematic (although this one has some limitations on that that license can be like), although I don't think the OSD prevents that sort of obligation.

The OSD 5 & 6 violations are the more problematic (and fatal) problems with this license, though.

-----Original Message-----
From: Kevin P. Fleming <kevin+osi at km6g.us> 
Sent: Tuesday, December 10, 2019 4:08 PM
To: mccoy at lexpan.law; License submissions for OSI review <license-review at lists.opensource.org>
Subject: Re: [License-review] Request for Approval of 'CasperLabs Open Source License (COSL)

On Tue, Dec 10, 2019 at 6:16 PM McCoy Smith <mccoy at lexpan.law> wrote:
> This license seems to violate several of elements of the OSD:
> Section 5: "All contributions to Novel Code will be under this COSLv1.0 and are *subject to the contributor executing a relicensing consent ("Relicensing Consent")* which provides that contributor's agreement to allow their contributions to be subject to updates to this COSLv1.0 or relicensing in the future, provided that the updated COSLv1.0 or new license is an open source license  and is consistent with the present COSLv1.0 license including the copyleft provisions in section 9.”
> OSD 7. Distribution of License
> The rights attached to the program must apply to all to whom the 
> program is redistributed *without the need for execution of an 
> additional license by those parties.*

This stipulation in the proposed license is not about rights, it is about requirements for the acceptance of contributions to the software. Anyone would be free to publish their modifications as they wish (presumably under the COSL v1.0) without executing a 'relicensing consent' agreement, so I don't believe this stipulation is an OSD concern. If it was, every project which currently requires a CLA to be executed by contributors would also be in violation of the OSD.

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