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From Noah Slater <nsla...@apache.org>
Subject Re: License Stewards
Date Fri, 15 Mar 2013 12:33:12 GMT
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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