October 2019 License-Discuss Summary

We would like to introduce (and thank!) Amol Meshram, who has joined us here at the OSI to provide monthly summaries of both the License-Discuss and License-Review mailing lists. We hope these reports provide you with a helpful snapshot of the monthly activities on the lists, keeping you up to date with the latest topics, while also providing a reference point for further discussion. Of course all suggestions are welcome as we continue to enhance our reporting. We will try our best to include the feedback from OSI community members to make the summaries as accurate as possible and the discussions lively and fruitful.

In Oct 2019, License-Discuss mailing list members discussed below mentioned topics;

  1. AGPL and Open Source Definition conflict:
    Discussion was not in context of AGPL and Open Source Definition conflict so did not include summary of discussion.
  2. Storing source artefacts in ELF files:
    In this discussion, software installation related information was discussed so did not include a summary for this topic.
  3. Open Source Software Question:
    Ahmed Hassan asked to OSI community members whether someone can claim software released under dual-license to be an open source software by restricting number of users who can access it for self-installation? Kevin P. Fleming replied that if open source software has usage restriction then it can not be called as an open source software.
    Gil Yehuda second with Kevin P and advised to use code which is under the open source license terms and write a code for implementation which is not under open source license.
    Brendan Hickey referred the github link provided by Ahmed and found that “NoLicenseMaximumAllowanceUserCount” condition is only with proprietary project not with open source project. Similarly, Brendan Hickey was of the opinion that there is nothing wrong in the open source project mentioned by Ahmed Hasan.
  4. Are you forced to make your project open source?
    Richard Dagenais asked OSI community members whether it is mandatory to open source software when;
    1. open source code is referred/used for developing software, but it is not modified.
    2. there is a necessity to distribute the Java JRE of the open source project with newly written code to run the application?
    To this Mike Milinkovich replied that it is not mandatory to release the application under an open source license.
    Thorsten Glaser analysed the mentioned scenarios and found that developer application can be under any license terms and mere aggregation of open source code into application is permissible. He also recommended to follow GPLv2 §3(a) license.
    B Galliart was of the opinion that if Richard Dagenais wants to redistribute Amazon Correto or any other OpenJDK without modification then he must follow below mentioned guidelines.
    1. Mention product build using Amazon Corretto and covered under the GPLv2+CE text
    2. Provide complete copy of GPLv2+CE text
    3. Notify where one can obtain complete source code to the GPLv2+CE covered work.
    In addition to it B Galliart presented two scenarios with respect to what is called derivative work and what is not derivative work so that Richard Dagenias can make decision with respect to open source code.
    Florian Weimer replied to B.Galliart’s recommendation ‘’You must make them aware the product included Amazon Corretto and it being covered under the terms of the GPLv2+CE’’ that the above mentioned recommendation will not work as various parts of OpenJDK are under different licenses.
    Bruce Perens wrote a cautionary note that mailing list members in this thread are competent, qualified lawyers and are very helpful. But, in any terms their advice cannot be considered as lawyer’s advice as they are not contracted for this work. So, any advice provided in mail thread is subject to risk.
  5. Google v Oracle –Google’s Petition for Certiorary:
    Only judgement is shared over email and no fruitful discussion was taken place so did not write a summary for this topic.
  6. Feedback on Open-Source Contribution License:
    Simon Fridlund shared the modified version of ISC license with OSI community members and asked opinion about license and whether language used in license is ok to close for a license?
    Brendan Hickey analysed the language used in the license and concluded that the mentioned license requires something of value in exchange for the software which is not in line with open source license policy.
    Tom Callaway feels condition mentioned in license is violation of Criteria 5 of OSD and wording used in license is vague in nature and trivial to circumvent.
  7. Coherent Open Source-Getting underway next Friday:
    In Sep 2019, Bruce Perens declared that COHERENT OPEN SOURCE will be presented at Open Core Summit, 2019. Bruce Perens proposed scrapping of 100+ open source licenses and bringing FSF/OSI approved cross compatible licenses which will achieve most purposes of Open Source/Free Software.
    Gil Yehuda analysed the motivations of open source license and proposed that it is better to see differences between the motivations for Free Software, Open Source and Source Available models. Gil Yehuda also suggested altering goal from “achieves *most purposes of Open Source/Free Software*” to “clarify when a license meets the intent of the Free Software movement, the Open Source movement, or the Restricted Availability movement.” Once it is done, we can include the representatives of each movement so that they can comment whether there is an overlap or not.
    Bruce Perens feels idea proposed by Gil Yehuda will divide the open source community.
    Lawrence Rosen seconds with the idea proposed by Gil Yehuda and rejected the arguments put up by Bruce Perens. Lawrence is of the opinion that FSF needs to change its opinions about license interworking before many accept those licenses.
    After careful perusal of Bruce Perens arguments, Lawrence Rosen changed her position and agreed with Bruce Perens that BSD and GPL licenses should be acceptable to both camps.