Subject: Re: When to evaluate dual licenses
From: "Chris Travers" <chris.travers@gmail.com>
Date: Sat, 15 Dec 2007 08:12:34 -0800
Sat, 15 Dec 2007 08:12:34 -0800
On Dec 15, 2007 5:54 AM, Michael Tiemann <tiemann@opensource.org> wrote:

>
>
> On Dec 13, 2007 6:17 PM, Matthew Flaschen <matthew.flaschen@gatech.edu>
> wrote:
>
> >
> > But, again, "GPLv2 or later" is not a software license and is outside
> > OSI's scope.
>
>
> You make a fascinating point.  I would agree that "GPLv2 or later" is
> outside our scope, because we cannot predict whether future versions of the
> GPL will be OSD-compliant or not.  However, in a different case, such as
> "GPLv2 or any other OSI-approved, copyleft license", may well be within our
> scope.  The OSI does not see itself as exclusively limited to discussing
> only the 0-1 question of whether a license is open source.  Our mission
> includes education and advocacy, and things like our logo are important to
> people who wish to show their affiliation with our cause.  A license choice,
> as opposed a strict license, can be within the OSI's scope as long as all
> the choices remain within the OSI's scope.  And in fact, a license that
> permits one to escape outside the world of open source (such as the BSD
> license, which permits proprietary forks) is still within our scope, so
> maybe we should consider such a license choice to be within our larger
> scope, recognizing that some things within our scope are not within our
> strict terms of approval.
>

My original point was meant to address the issue of "you may choose license
a or b but cannot pass that choice downstream" which is how some people on
this list (I believe wrongly) interpret the GPL v2 companion clause "or, at
your option, any later version."  My point was that such an additional
clause would be OSD compliant only if that choice could be passed downstream
because otherwise the totality of the software license (including the choice
of licenses) could not be used for a derivative work.

If I were to say for example, "You may choose the GPL v2 or the OSL, but you
can only pass one of those licenses to those you distribute the software to"
the original software license would not be compliant with the OSD even
though the choice of licenses would be, because it would be impossible to
create derivative works licensed under the totality of the software license
which one received.  However downstream users would still get the software
under an OSI approved license.

Best Wishes,
Chris Travers


>
> M
>
>




On Dec 15, 2007 5:54 AM, Michael Tiemann <tiemann@opensource.org> wrote:


On Dec 13, 2007 6:17 PM, Matthew Flaschen <matthew.flaschen@gatech.edu> wrote:

But, again, "GPLv2 or later" is not a software license and is outside
OSI's scope.

You make a fascinating point.  I would agree that "GPLv2 or later" is outside our scope, because we cannot predict whether future versions of the GPL will be OSD-compliant or not.  However, in a different case, such as "GPLv2 or any other OSI-approved, copyleft license", may well be within our scope.  The OSI does not see itself as exclusively limited to discussing only the 0-1 question of whether a license is open source.  Our mission includes education and advocacy, and things like our logo are important to people who wish to show their affiliation with our cause.  A license choice, as opposed a strict license, can be within the OSI's scope as long as all the choices remain within the OSI's scope.  And in fact, a license that permits one to escape outside the world of open source (such as the BSD license, which permits proprietary forks) is still within our scope, so maybe we should consider such a license choice to be within our larger scope, recognizing that some things within our scope are not within our strict terms of approval.

My original point was meant to address the issue of "you may choose license a or b but cannot pass that choice downstream" which is how some people on this list (I believe wrongly) interpret the GPL v2 companion clause "or, at your option, any later version."  My point was that such an additional clause would be OSD compliant only if that choice could be passed downstream because otherwise the totality of the software license (including the choice of licenses) could not be used for a derivative work.

If I were to say for example, "You may choose the GPL v2 or the OSL, but you can only pass one of those licenses to those you distribute the software to" the original software license would not be compliant with the OSD even though the choice of licenses would be, because it would be impossible to create derivative works licensed under the totality of the software license which one received.  However downstream users would still get the software under an OSI approved license.

Best Wishes,
Chris Travers
 

M