Subject: Re: RPL 1.5 discussion
From: Chuck Swiger <>
Date: Tue, 18 Sep 2007 16:04:04 -0700

On Sep 18, 2007, at 11:25 AM, Scott Shattuck wrote:
> I'd like to second William's request and respectfully ask that the  
> RPL 1.5 be summarily approved at the next board meeting.

Russ doesn't track license submissions without "For approval:" in the  
Subject header, but I agree that the original submission should have  
received more attention.

> Revisions to the RPL v1.1 (originally approved in November of 2002)  
> were submitted in April of 2006, largely in response to objections  
> raised by the FSF when they noted that the RPL was the only  
> software license that was both OSI-approved and "non-free".

Agreed-- one of the two big concerns I have over the RPL is the  
notion that you can't run your own modified version of the software  
without having to redistribute your changes, which is why the FSF  
considers it "non-free".  The exception for "personal use" in 1.11  
restricts private commercial use unless one publishes those changes  
to the world.  This isn't strictly against the OSD #6, but it is  
coming closer than most copyleft licenses do.

The second concern I have is that the RPL tries to claim it applies  
not just to derivative works but potentially to a completely separate  
application which was written from the ground up which merely  
communicates over the network to an RPL'ed application.  Using  
publicly published APIs to talk to your RPL'ed program from separate  
code I've written myself does not mean my code must be licensed under  
your terms.

This isn't something which is against any part of the Open-Source  
Definition, but it's unfortunate nevertheless.  I don't want to  
recommend against approval, but neither do I feel that the license is  
solidly grounded in the claims it asserts...