[License-review] For Approval: Convertible Free Software License, Version 1.3 (C-FSL v1.3)

Rob Landley rob at landley.net
Wed Jan 9 01:29:35 UTC 2019

On 1/8/19 9:56 AM, Elmar Stellnberger wrote:
> Full Name: Convertible Free Software License Version 1.3
> Short Identifier: C-FSL v1.3
> URL1: https://www.elstel.org/license/C-FSL-v1.3.pdf
> URL2: https://www.elstel.org/license/C-FSL-v1.3.txt
> Rationale and Distinguish:
> While the BSD license allows the whole world to re-license and while
> re-licensing is virtually impossible with GPL since every contributor would need
> to consent the C-FSL license goes a practical intermediate way restricting the
> right to re-license to a group called the original authors. That way open source
> developers are not excluded from making business with others who want to base a
> proprietary product on the given piece of open source software.

The clear intent of that paragraph seems to be to have an "in group" and and
"out group", where some pigs are more equal than others. That's... not open
source? (You may be confusing ownership and attribution?)

It sounds like what you want here is copyright assignment. Which is hugely
unpopular, so you're... trying to disguise it?

Suppose somebody bolts on a crypto library like
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NaCl_(software) which predates the existence of
your project. Are they now the "original" authors because their code came first?
Does that mean a third party who added crypto support grants someone other than
you permission to relicense your entire project just because they now have the
oldest code? Or is it the person who has the _most_ code in the project, in
which case somebody has to bolt on a BIG framework they wrote (link it to QT,
etc), and _then_ they can take your code proprietary?

Or do you literally just mean "we're special, we get extra rights nobody else
gets, in perpetuity" and you want to call that open source?


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