Subject: Open Software License (OSL) version 2.0
From: "Lawrence E. Rosen" <>
Date: Sat, 28 Jun 2003 14:31:47 -0700

To License-Discuss (and to other potentially interested persons in bcc):

I have revised the Open Software License to resolve concerns raised by
several people, and today submit the new version to license-discuss for
OSI approval.  The new OSL license, version 2.0, can be found at

A redline comparison of the new version with the previous version can be
found at

The major changes are these:

1. The Grant of Copyright License and Grant of Patent License (sections
1 and 2) have been made sublicenseable.  This simplifies the process of
creating Derivative Works and makes it possible for a user to obtain the
necessary licenses from one source, the Licensor, rather than have to
seek out licenses from each contributor.  This also affected the wording
of section 7.

2. The Grant of Patent License (section 2) language has been simplified.

2. The Exclusions from License Grant (section 4) includes a sentence
that prohibits the use of Licensor's or contributors' names to endorse
or promote derivative works.  This sentence was in the Academic Free
License but was accidentally left off the earlier version of the OSL.

3. The Warranty (section 7) now includes a more-clearly stated "warranty
of provenance" that can assure licensees that they are not receiving
stolen intellectual property.  Open source projects that use the OSL
should make sure they are following rigorous procedures when they accept
contributions -- as most such projects already do.  Those contributions
do not need to be received under an assignment of copyright; a license
compatible in scope with the OSL grant (including any academic-style
license) should be more than enough.

4. The Termination for Patent Action (section 10) provision no longer
uses the "Mutual Defense" language.  It has been replaced by new
language that is patterned after the defensive termination provisions of
the Common Public License and the IBM Public License (and also found in
several other corporate licenses).  This language will protect the open
source community and our customers from patent infringement lawsuits
without implying -- as some had feared about the previous language --
that it is OK for the open source community to ignore third party patent

Your comments and suggestions are encouraged.  This is still a draft, so
comments will be helpful.  Many of you will already recognize the
effects of your earlier suggestions.  Thanks!

/Lawrence Rosen
Rosenlaw & Einschlag, a technology law firm
General counsel, Open Source Initiative
General counsel, JBoss Group LLC
3001 King Ranch Road, Ukiah, CA 95482
707-485-1242 * fax: 707-485-1243

license-discuss archive is at