Subject: RE: License Committee Report for September 2008
From: "Lawrence Rosen" <lrosen@rosenlaw.com>
Date: Sun, 7 Sep 2008 09:59:15 -0700

Matthew Flaschen wrote:
> Perhaps the OSI could say, "An OSI-approved license may be supplemented
> by an additional permission statement.  The combination will be
> OSI-compliant, providing that permission /only/ has the effect of
> waiving conditions in the OSI-approved license, and that such waiver is
> not conditional."?  But I agree OSI would have to be very careful.

The scope of every open source license is so broad--including all rights
available under the copyright act--that there is probably never a need for
what you are now calling "additional permission." ["In addition to being
allowed to copy, modify and distribute my work worldwide, you can also do
this in Europe and you can smile while you do it."]

As for a waiver of conditions, typically that would involve something like
"I'll waive the condition that you publish source code if all you do is link
to my work," or "I'll waive the condition that an external deployment be
treated as a distribution." No licensor needs OSI's permission to waive a
license condition for his own work. Indeed, that's the basis for a lot of
dual licensing business models. All that such waivers accomplish is to make
copyrighted works more generally acceptable to those for whom the condition
was onerous, for which relief some may pay.

/Larry



> -----Original Message-----
> From: Matthew Flaschen [mailto:matthew.flaschen@gatech.edu]
> Sent: Sunday, September 07, 2008 9:37 AM
> To: License Discuss
> Subject: Re: License Committee Report for September 2008
> 
> Lawrence Rosen wrote:
> >>> Recommend: reassure submittor that it's okay to give people extra
> >>>   freedoms by voting to approve the practice of using an OSI-approved
> >>>   license in conjunction with a licensing announcement that removes
> >>>   restrictions on the licensee.
> >> RTEMS is clearly OSI-compliant, as it really is just GPLv2 + extra
> >> permissions.  However, if OSI makes a general statement about this it
> >> should be clear that extra permissions may be automatically compliant,
> >> but only if there are /no/ extra restrictions.
> >
> >
> > Any official statement on this by OSI would have to define the terms
> > "permissions" and "restrictions".
> >
> > The court in Jacobsen (and the Creative Commons brief that won us this
> case)
> > used more traditional IP terms: The "scope" of the copyright license and
> the
> > "conditions" imposed by that license. Perhaps we should try to echo that
> > jargon?
> >
> > The term of art for the removal of a condition is, I believe, "waiver".
> > There may also be conditional waivers....
> >
> > /Larry
> 
> Perhaps the OSI could say, "An OSI-approved license may be supplemented
> by an additional permission statement.  The combination will be
> OSI-compliant, providing that permission /only/ has the effect of
> waiving conditions in the OSI-approved license, and that such waiver is
> not conditional."?  But I agree OSI would have to be very careful.
> 
> Matt Flaschen