Subject: Re: OSL 3.0: informing licensees of their rights
From: August Zajonc <>
Date: Fri, 17 Feb 2006 17:07:23 +0000 (UTC)

Sanjoy Mahajan <sanjoy <at>> writes:

> The OSL 2.1 required the licensor to give the address of a source-code
> repository (unless source was provided along with the work), but the
> OSL 3.0 no longer requires that.  How will licensees know that they
> have broad rights to copy, modify, and distribute the work?  One way
> is from the notice of licensing, "Licensed under the Open Software
> License v3.0".  But there's no requirement to retain, in the original
> work, the notice of licensing.  The source code will still have the
> notice, but the licensee doesn't have the source.
> So imagine A is the author, who licenses to B, who licenses to C.  B
> removes A's notice of licensing from the executable or the document,
> and doesn't tell C about the existence of source code, let alone how
> to get t.  How will C even know to ask for the source, let alone find
> out his or her other rights under the OSL?
> -Sanjoy

I share this question.

In particular, I want to insure, very clearly, that licensees know their rights. 

In the case of a webapp, the focus seems to include license details in the
source code. That is fine, as long as folks have a clear way to get from using
the application to using the source code. 

I'd love to force that the license text appear at the bottom of each page for
example, or is otherwise prominently noticed. The attribution notice
requirements appear satisfied in source code. Is there a standard approach to
requiring prominent end user notice that the application is under the OSL?

Prominent notice might be one time on account creation or at footer of pages in
my mind at least.