[License-review] Request - For Approval - Ritchey Permissive License v11
pamela.chestek at opensource.org
Tue Jul 6 00:27:35 UTC 2021
Dear License Review,
At the Board meeting on June 25, 2021, the Board adopted the
recommendation of the License Committee and did NOT approve the Ritchey
Permissive License v11 as an Open Source Initiative Certified license.
Pamela S. Chestek
Chair, License Committee
Open Source Initiative
On 6/22/21 12:08 PM, Pamela Chestek wrote:
> Dear License Review,
> Below is the recommendation of the License Committee on the Ritchey
> Permissive License v11. I apologize that the submission for vote to
> the Board was delayed.
> Pamela Chestek
> Chair, License Committee
> Open Source Initiative
> License: Ritchey Permissive License v11 (Exhibit A)
> Submitted: February 13, 2021,
> Decision date: due no later than the first Board meeting after April
> 13, 2021
> License Review Committee Recommendation:
> /Resolved that it is the opinion of the OSI that the Ritchey
> Permissive License v11 does not conform to the OSD and assure software
> freedom and the license is therefore not approved as an Open Source
> Initiative Certified license./
> _Rationale Document_
> No one but the license submitter was of the view that the license was
> suitable for approval. The license is poorly drafted and, as a result,
> there are several places where the license can be interpreted in
> different ways. The most heavily discussed license term was that
> permission is only granted for “lawful” purposes. To the extent that
> the statement means that the licensed content cannot be used for
> certain purposes because the activity may be unlawful, (which is the
> license drafter’s view,
> the restriction is a violation of OSD 6, “No Discrimination Against
> Fields of Endeavor.”
> Some commenters interpreted the reference to “lawful” as referring,
> not to extrinsic law, but to rights granted by the license. In this
> case, the phrase “permission to do anything lawful with the material
> which does not violate this license” cannot be construed. Because
> copyright is an exclusionary right, a statement of what use is
> permitted is a required element of a license. For example,
> distribution of a copyrighted work is not lawful unless permission has
> been granted, so if the license does not expressly state that
> distribution is allowed, distribution will not be “lawful.” Thus, the
> document might not be granting any rights at all.
> Another example of ambiguity is that the license drafter claims that
> the license is not a copyleft license; however, it is unclear whether
> the statement “The material must entirely remain solely under this
> license” refers also to derivative works of the licensed “material” or
> These ambiguities allow for interpretations that do not conform to the
> OSD and assure software freedom.
> _Exhibit A_
> Subject to the terms of this license, any legal entity who receives
> material licensed under this license is granted royalty-free,
> perpetual, non-exclusive, permission to do anything lawful with the
> material which does not violate this license. Permissions are
> automatically revoked permanently from the legal entity upon breach of
> this license. The material is provided "as is", without implied
> fitness for any purpose. All obligations to the legal entity
> (including warranties, liabilities, representations, obligations,
> damages, and guarantees) are disclaimed by all parties involved
> (including the authors, rights holders, copyright holders, patent
> holders, and providers of the material). The legal entity is
> responsible for all consequences of sharing the material, and all
> obligations to recipients (including warranties, liabilities,
> representations, obligations, damages, and guarantees). The material
> must entirely remain solely under this license. This license is
> governed by the laws of the province of British Columbia (as they were
> on April 21, 2019), and the applicable laws of Canada (as they were on
> April 21, 2019). Any legal proceedings related to this license may
> only occur in the courts of British Columbia. The legal entity must be
> capable of being bound to this entire license, and agrees to be. If
> any portions of this license are unenforceable in applicable
> jurisdictions, this license cannot be accepted. The license text is
> provided under these terms.
> On 2/13/2021 7:30 PM, J. Ritchey wrote:
>> Submitting 'Ritchey Permissive License v11' for approval.
>> License Text:
>> Ritchey Permissive License v11:
>> Subject to the terms of this license, any legal entity who
>> receives material licensed under this license is granted
>> royalty-free, perpetual, non-exclusive, permission to do anything
>> lawful with the material which does not violate this license.
>> Permissions are automatically revoked permanently from the legal
>> entity upon breach of this license. The material is provided "as
>> is", without implied fitness for any purpose. All obligations to
>> the legal entity (including warranties, liabilities,
>> representations, obligations, damages, and guarantees) are
>> disclaimed by all parties involved (including the authors, rights
>> holders, copyright holders, patent holders, and providers of the
>> material). The legal entity is responsible for all consequences
>> of sharing the material, and all obligations to recipients
>> (including warranties, liabilities, representations, obligations,
>> damages, and guarantees). The material must entirely remain
>> solely under this license. This license is governed by the laws
>> of the province of British Columbia (as they were on April 21,
>> 2019), and the applicable laws of Canada (as they were on April
>> 21, 2019). Any legal proceedings related to this license may only
>> occur in the courts of British Columbia. The legal entity must be
>> capable of being bound to this entire license, and agrees to be.
>> If any portions of this license are unenforceable in applicable
>> jurisdictions, this license cannot be accepted. The license text
>> is provided under these terms.
>> First released in 2015 /(then named Comprehensible Open License)/,
>> the Ritchey Permissive License aims to provide wide permissions, and
>> ask little in return. It also strives to use plain language where
>> possible /(this was the inspiration for its original name, and
>> originally was prioritized above all else)/, and limit its size. The
>> goals of this license are not unique, but the manner in which they
>> are achieved is. That's what makes it a useful alternative to
>> existing options, and is my rationale for submitting it.
>> In terms of comparison to already OSI approved licenses, the Ritchey
>> Permissive License v11 is most similar to the Zero-Clause BSD, ISC
>> License (ISC), MIT No Attribution License, Fair License (Fair), MIT
>> License, and 2-Clause BSD License. These licenses are all short, and
>> grant wide permissions. But there are important differences.
>> Like the Zero-Clause BSD license, and MIT No Attribution License,
>> this license does not require a copy of the license to be included
>> when distributing a work. This feature could result in downstream
>> recipients of a work never seeing important disclaimers. Unlike the
>> Zero-Clause BSD, and MIT No Attribution License, this license tries
>> to provide some protection against that by shifting these
>> responsibilities to the person sharing the work.
>> Like the Zero-Clause BSD, Fair License (Fair), ISC License (ISC), MIT
>> License, and 2-Clause BSD License it provides wide permissions.
>> However they use a whitelist approach (eg: you can do x, y, z), and
>> this license uses mostly a blacklist approach (eg: you can't do x, y,
>> z). This difference is important, because x, y, and z may not be
>> interpreted as intended. A whitelist approach prioritizes protecting
>> a work. A blacklist approach prioritizes protecting the freedom of
>> people to use the work. The MIT No Attribution License uses a
>> blacklist approach, but the difference in wording may make one
>> license more appealing than the other to potential users.
>> Like the Fair License (Fair) which refers to products as "works" the
>> Ritchey Permissive License v11 uses the inclusive term "material" so
>> that the license can be better used with things beyond software (eg:
>> documentation, icon packs, etc). The difference in the definitions of
>> these terms may make one license more desirable over the other to
>> potential users.
>> Like the Zero-Clause BSD, ISC License (ISC), Fair License (Fair), MIT
>> License, and 2-Clause BSD License the Ritchey Permissive License v11
>> is a short license that doesn't include a definitions section like
>> larger licenses do. Unlike them, it binds itself to a jurisdiction,
>> setting a basis for how terms may be interpreted.
>> Legal review:
>> No legal review of this license has been done. None is planned.
>> Proliferation Category:
>> I suggest the "Other/Miscellaneous licenses" category, because of its
>> ties to Canadian law. While the license isn't made for Canadians,
>> this link may limit its appeal to foreigners.
>> In summary, the Ritchey Permissive License v11 is similar to existing
>> options, but differences in features, or wording make it a useful
>> alternative. That's why it was made.
>> The opinions expressed in this email are those of the sender and not necessarily those of the Open Source Initiative. Communication from the Open Source Initiative will be sent from an opensource.org email address.
>> License-review mailing list
>> License-review at lists.opensource.org
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