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From Henri Yandell <bay...@apache.org>
Subject Re: License Stewards
Date Sat, 16 Mar 2013 23:47:52 GMT
What's the state for licenses and contracts in general?

My vague understanding was that it's as you describe, they're treated
as public domain.

I don't see why Open Source text would be different. The protection is
in the name (ie: you can't call it Mozilla Public License 4.0 without
the steward (ie: owner of trademark)'s approval).

Hen

On Fri, Mar 15, 2013 at 5:33 AM, Noah Slater <nslater@apache.org> wrote:
> Larry,
>
> Did you get a response to this?
>
> Best,
>
>
> On 3 October 2012 20:44, Lawrence Rosen <lrosen@rosenlaw.com> wrote:
>>
>> A recent thread on the legal-discuss@ list at Apache asked whether someone
>> could take the Apache License 2.0 and revise it for their own purposes.
>> After a side trip I took into the esoteric question about whether a
>> copyright license could itself be copyrighted, I bring the discussion to
>> this license-discuss@ list at OSI along with a bit of history. (I’m copying
>> the legal-discuss@apache list only for closing the circle.)
>>
>>
>>
>> In the olden days, open source licenses usually contained a copyright
>> statement and the identification of a “license steward”. This person or
>> organization (e.g., RMS/FSF for the GPL licenses; IBM for the CPL; and
>> Mitchell Baker at what was then the Mozilla Project for the MPL) reputedly
>> had exclusive control over future license versions. Indeed, Mitchell took
>> offense at that time because, without her permission, I had revised the MPL
>> license into a version I thought was easier to read and understand (the
>> Jabber license, since deprecated).
>>
>>
>>
>> Whether or not the license steward role was legally significant, it
>> certainly raised control issues in the community and created animosity over
>> license language purity even where personal offense was not intended. Even
>> though the goal was to change the license for some presumably good legal
>> effect, some people still took offense when their “own” words were changed.
>>
>>
>>
>> When I released the AFL/OSL licenses in early drafts, I omitted any
>> declaration of license steward but I asserted with a copyright notice that I
>> was the author of those licenses. Several people (including, I remember,
>> Mitchell Baker) complained that I was claiming control over a license that
>> people might want to enhance or change. Nobody trusted that I personally (or
>> my heirs) would forever have the good of the community at heart.
>>
>>
>>
>> I agreed with them. That was my incentive to write section 16 of those
>> licenses, which declared authorship but disclaimed control over changes.
>> This section 16 also carefully prohibited what was then characterized as
>> “relicensing” of existing works; declared that the name of the license was
>> exclusive; and reminded the world that only OSI could bless a revised
>> license as “open source”.
>>
>>
>>
>> Here’s what section 16 of the OSL says:
>>
>>
>>
>> 16) Modification of This License. This License is Copyright © 2005
>> Lawrence Rosen. Permission is granted to copy, distribute, or communicate
>> this License without modification. Nothing in this License permits You to
>> modify this License as applied to the Original Work or to Derivative Works.
>> However, You may modify the text of this License and copy, distribute or
>> communicate your modified version (the "Modified License") and apply it to
>> other original works of authorship subject to the following conditions: (i)
>> You may not indicate in any way that your Modified License is the "Open
>> Software License" or "OSL" and you may not use those names in the name of
>> your Modified License; (ii) You must replace the notice specified in the
>> first paragraph above with the notice "Licensed under <insert your license
>> name here>" or with a notice of your own that is not confusingly similar to
>> the notice in this License; and (iii) You may not claim that your original
>> works are open source software unless your Modified License has been
>> approved by Open Source Initiative (OSI) and You comply with its license
>> review and certification process.
>>
>>
>>
>> Most licenses nowadays omit declarations of license stewardship and don’t
>> even mention the ownership of future derivative versions. For example – and
>> this was the gist of the question on the Apache legal-discuss@ list – the
>> Apache License 2.0 says nothing about the right to create derivative
>> versions of the license.
>>
>>
>>
>> In this ambiguous situation, what is the default rule for derivative works
>> of open source licenses? My assertion is that all open source licenses may
>> freely be copied or modified into different versions; permission from a
>> license steward is never necessary to do that because these are functional
>> legal documents for which copyright protection is inappropriate. (In an
>> email at Apache, I characterized my copyright notice on my own licenses as
>> “chutzpah”.) Without OSI approval, however, nobody responsible will call the
>> modified license an “open source license”.
>>
>>
>>
>> Do you agree?
>>
>>
>>
>> /Larry
>>
>>
>>
>> Lawrence Rosen
>>
>> Rosenlaw & Einschlag, a technology law firm (www.rosenlaw.com)
>>
>> 3001 King Ranch Rd., Ukiah, CA 95482
>>
>> Office: 707-485-1242
>>
>>
>
>
>
>
> --
> NS

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