Subject: RE: Discuss: UoI/NCSA Open Source License
From: "Lawrence E. Rosen" <lrosen@rosenlaw.com>
Date: Mon, 18 Mar 2002 15:52:24 -0800

John,

I really appreciate the clear focus you presented in your rationale for
your UoI/NCSA Open Source License.  There are good reasons to merge the
BSD and MIT licenses into a clearer, but still short, open source
license -- and you stated those reasons well.  I believe your license is
qualified for approval as an open source license.  I do have some
questions, however, and a suggestion, that I hope you can address first.

There are some ambiguities in the first sentence of your license,
essentially the grant of license statement.  Why do you use the phrase
"to deal with the Software without restriction" when the rights listed
in the remaineder of the sentence are so explicit?  You also say
"including without limitation" as if there are other rights you might
have included if you wanted to, but you don't want to name them.  Are
there any unlisted rights (e.g., the right to perform) that you intend
to withhold?  Do you intend the grant to be unrestricted or restricted
in some way related to the meaning of the phrase "deal with?"  

Would it be sufficient to say:

   Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person
   obtaining a copy of this software and associated documentation
   (the "Software"), to use, copy, modify, merge, publish,
   distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Software,
   and to permit persons to whom the Software is furnished to do so,
   subject to the following conditions:

I assume the licensor is also granting patent rights necessary to
practice the Software.  Does this in some way include patent rights to
practice those patent claims in derivative works?

To be clearer about that point, perhaps you should say something like:

   Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person
   obtaining a copy of this software and associated documentation
   (the "Software"), (1) to use, copy, modify, merge, publish,
   distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Software,
   and to permit persons to whom the Software is furnished to do so, 
   and (2) under patent claims owned or controlled by the licensor
   essential to the use of the Software as furnished by that
   licensor, to make, use or sell the Software, 
   subject to the following conditions:

You style your license as a template (THANKS!) but the name of the
license belies that.  Your license is so simple that I'll bet OSI
receives many requests in coming months to use this license under a
different name.  Thus licenses proliferate and confuse....  Perhaps many
colleges and universities will want to adopt your license.  Can we agree
on a more global name for this license and perhaps get your help
coordinating review and adoption of this "standard" license, based upon
the MIT and BSD licenses and in their spirit, by other relevant
institutions?

I don't mean to muck up what would otherwise be a fairly straightforward
approval process.  But since you said you want to address certain
deficiencies in the MIT and BSD licenses, I can at least ask your
thoughts on these broader issues.

/Larry Rosen

> -----Original Message-----
> From: John Taylor McEntire [mailto:jmcentir@ad.uiuc.edu] 
> Sent: Thursday, March 14, 2002 1:27 PM
> To: license-discuss@opensource.org
> Cc: jmcentir@uiuc.edu
> Subject: Discuss: UoI/NCSA Open Source License

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