Subject: RE: On the licensing terms of the open source licenses text
From: "Lawrence Rosen" <lrosen@rosenlaw.com>
Date: Fri, 9 Jul 2004 16:07:39 -0700

Philippe Ombredanne wrote:
> So the questions are:
> How can I reuse the text of a license like the OSL to create a new
> license?
> Is this licensed under the OSL?
> Or restricted to Larry's terms?
> 
> Can I create a new license, for instance the nexB public license, based
> on the text of the OSL, or other license text but with every reference
> to the OSL removed, except for copyright attributions, creating a
> derivative work of the license text?
> 
> And if I use an existing OSI approved license as a base, would I need to
> go through the full legal commentary to submit it for approval? (BTW, I
> know this was debated in the past, but did not find any conclusion on
> the topic.
> 
> --
> Cheers
> Philippe

Cheers, indeed! :-)

I'm looking forward to hearing the discussion. I certainly don't want to be
like some power-grabbing monopolist who claims more intellectual property
rights than the law allows. What part, after all, of my license is
copyrightable subject matter? Everything? We've made copyright so expansive
that I expect to see such notices on graffiti soon.

/Larry

Lawrence Rosen 
Rosenlaw & Einschlag, technology law offices (www.rosenlaw.com)
General counsel, Open Source Initiative (www.opensource.org) 
3001 King Ranch Road, Ukiah, CA 95482 
707-485-1242 * fax: 707-485-1243 
email: lrosen@rosenlaw.com 



> -----Original Message-----
> From: Philippe Ombredanne [mailto:pombredanne@nexb.com]
> Sent: Friday, July 09, 2004 11:02 AM
> To: license-discuss@opensource.org
> Subject: On the licensing terms of the open source licenses text
> 
> Dear licenses enthusiasts,
> I have a question about the licenses of the text of the licenses
> themselves.
> Very specifically, I wanted to create our own license, based on the OSL,
> but I am taking the OSL here as an example.
> And taking the OSL as example gives definitely a recursive feel to the
> topic...
> 
> The OSL and many other licenses have fine prints like that:
> > "This license is Copyright (C) 2003-2004 Lawrence E. Rosen.
> > All rights reserved. Permission is hereby granted to copy and
> > distribute this license without modification. This license may
> > not be modified without the express written permission of its
> > copyright owner."
> This obviously restricts the reuse of the license text in other
> licenses.
> 
> On the other hand, every web page on opensource.org has the following
> footer:
> > "Copyright C 2004 by the Open Source Initiative
> > The contents of this website are licensed under the
> > Open Software License 2.1 or Academic Free License 2.1"
> This could be construed as making the text of the licenses available
> under the OSL.
> 
> So the questions are:
> How can I reuse the text of a license like the OSL to create a new
> license?
> Is this licensed under the OSL?
> Or restricted to Larry's terms?
> 
> Can I create a new license, for instance the nexB public license, based
> on the text of the OSL, or other license text but with every reference
> to the OSL removed, except for copyright attributions, creating a
> derivative work of the license text?
> 
> And if I use an existing OSI approved license as a base, would I need to
> go through the full legal commentary to submit it for approval? (BTW, I
> know this was debated in the past, but did not find any conclusion on
> the topic.
> 
> --
> Cheers
> Philippe
> 
> philippe ombredanne | nexB - Open IT Asset Management
> 1 650 799 0949 | pombredanne at nexb.com
> http://www.nexb.com
> 
> 
> --
> license-discuss archive is at http://crynwr.com/cgi-bin/ezmlm-cgi?3

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