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

Russell Nelson nelson at crynwr.com
Mon Jan 6 15:22:50 UTC 2020

On 12/7/19 7:18 PM, bruce at perens.com (Bruce Perens) wrote:
> On Fri, Dec 6, 2019, 9:33 PM VanL <van.lindberg at gmail.com> wrote:
>> But as has been pointed out by several people, the scenario you describe
>> could happen with any license.
> The difference in this case is that a fundamental feature of the  network
> breaks if you allow interoperable software under another Open Source
> license on the network. Because that network node operator is not bound by
> any anti-sequestration terms. So as far as I can tell, you have to assert
> your patents, you can't tolerate having that operator continue.

I must note two things:

   1) This, THIS, is exactly why we decided long ago to ignore software 
patents. Indeed:

The Open Source Definition (Annotated) .... [search box containing 
"patent 0/0"]

   2) We have never judged open source licenses based on their ability 
to achieve their author's goals. The FDA (US medication licensing 
bureau) has gone down the wrong route by requiring that a medicine be 
effective. A new medication has to go through billions of dollars of 
testing, all of which have to be paid-for by people who partake of these 
medicines. Consequently, medicines that may be life-saving take years 
and are expensive. The process doesn't work very well. Some medicines 
thought to be safe (Tylenol) turn out to destroy your liver with an 
overdose of merely 3X. Some medicines thought to be useful are harmful 
(statins) for all women and most men with no history of heart attacks. 
And don't get me started on sugar, which shouldn't even be legal to put 
in foods. No. They should just require that a medicine have a documented 
set of side-effects.

Similarly, we don't judge whether a license is going to "work". We just 
say whether a license is open source.

In this case, the CALb4 is a well-written (nod to Van) license which 
is[1] compliant with the Open Source Definition. I haven't read every 
email in December and January, but from what I've seen, the objections 
seems to be of the form of whether two or three angels can dance on the 
head of a pin, when it's merely necessary to show that a pin head is 

[1] Okay, so maybe it's not obvious to everyone, but some of us have 
read every open source license multiple times, and helped to write the 
current OSD.
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