Subject: Re: OSI Approval process
From: Matthew Flaschen <>
Date: Wed, 19 Sep 2007 18:06:58 -0400

Lawrence Rosen wrote:
>> AFL 3.0 does not seem to be compatible with either GPLv2 or GPLv3, due
>> to the Attorney's Fees and External Deployment provisions (possibly
>> others).  Is that your interpretation?
> Not at all. The attorney's fees provision reflects the fee-shifting
> arrangement that is prevalent in many countries, including the UK.

But for countries without that arrangement, it would seem to be an extra
requirement beyond GPL.

> It doesn't affect the GPL, any more than the indemnity provision of Apache
> License 2.0 affects the GPL.

Which indemnity provision are you referring to, and which version of the
GPL?  According to the FSF (and Apache, though they don't seem to be as
convinced) Apache 2.0 is not compatible with GPLv2.  It is compatible
with GPLv3, partly because it allows clauses "Requiring indemnification
of licensors and authors of that material by anyone who conveys the
material (or modified versions of it) with contractual assumptions of
liability to the recipient."  I don't see any equivalent clause for
attorneys' fees or external deployment (excepting the linking grant for
GNU Affero GPLv3, which does not apply to AFL).

> As for the external deployment provision, it doesn't affect the AFL at all,
> since distribution doesn't matter under that license.

What exactly does "any license of your choice that does not contradict
the terms and conditions" mean?  On the face, I would interpret it as
meaning the license must have a superset of the restrictions of AFL and
thus a subset of the permissions.

Matt Flaschen