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Re: Is OSL 2.0 compliant with DFSG?

On 2004-04-10 20:47:28 +0100 Sam Hartman <hartmans@debian.org> wrote:

    MJ> For the question in the subject line: I still think that OSL
    MJ> 2.0 is not DFSG-free because it terminates copyright
    MJ> permission for any software patent action, including ones
    MJ> unrelated to the covered software. The Licensor is also free
    MJ> to initiate patent actions against the Licensee and this seems
    MJ> to hinder the Licensee's defence. I see this as a type of bad
    MJ> termination clause, which wouldn't be tolerated for copyrights
    MJ> alone.
I don't think this claim follows from the text of the DFSG and so I
think it is open to interpretation.

: DFSG 9: License Must Not Contaminate Other Software
: The license must not place restrictions on other software that is
: distributed along with the licensed software. For example, the
: license must not insist that all other programs distributed on the
: same medium must be free software.

I think it's a simple step from there to decide that the licence must not insist that all other programs in the world should not be involved in patent actions against the licensor.

In general I think the free software community would be best served by
licenses that strongly discourage patent actions. [...]

As do I. However, the OSL is too strong and less free than a licence which says nothing on patents. I think it's similar to trying to bring about a no-killing society by executing everyone who fires a gun. Ultimately, it is too broad and it works against you.

However, I don't really want to get into that debate now.

Me neither. Wait until we find a licence with this as the only problem?

MJR/slef     My Opinion Only and possibly not of any group I know.
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