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Re: Open Software License v2.1

On Wed, Sep 15, 2004 at 09:00:39AM -0400, Michael Poole wrote:
> Andrew Suffield writes:
> > Long-standing conclusions, summarised:
> > 
> > Terminating licenses (copyright, patent, trademark, dog-humping, or
> > whatever else might interfere with distribution/modification/use) for
> > any reason other than non-compliance is a bit of legal insanity to get
> > contract-like provisions into a license. These provisions have to be
> > considered like any other restriction (invert the sense of the
> > conditional to get the restriction).
> > 
> > Anything that requires a contract-like construct, rather than a simple
> > license, is probably non-free. DFSG-free licenses give things to the
> > licensee, not to the copyright holder. They are not a trade (although
> > the grant of permissions does not have to be the most generous
> > possible), even if their social behaviour resembles one.
> > 
> > (Corollary of these two: terminating a license for any reason other
> > than non-compliance is probably non-free)
> Other corollary: Claiming something is a "contract-like provision" is
> a useful wedge to make something like the GPL a non-free license.

That's a summary of an old discussion which apparently you didn't
read. Redefining it arbitrary to something else will obviously
generate an arbitrary result.

> > A restriction saying "You may not sue me for patent issues" is
> > non-free.
> If any licenses said that, it might be relevant.

Congratulations, you missed the point.

> > Patent licenses are ignored unless there are actively enforced
> > patents. In almost every case where we come across these patent
> > clauses, there are no actively enforced patents, so we simply ignore
> > them - but sometimes people write clauses like this one, which remain
> > non-free in the absence of patents.
> If the patent licenses are ignored unless actively enforced, do you
> have a problem with the Apache License 2.0, in which only the patent
> license terminates in the event of patent litigation?

Not in the absence of interesting patents. That was what we said way
back when the proposed apache license 2.0 had the very same bug in
it. This sort of clause is acceptable because when you don't have
patent issues, it's a no-op - and that's by far the most common case.

If a work were to appear for which somebody was running around
litigating patents, it'd probably be non-free even with this patent
"license". We usually try to nail the clauses down to the point where
this is unlikely to happen.

  .''`.  ** Debian GNU/Linux ** | Andrew Suffield
 : :' :  http://www.debian.org/ |
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