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From "Karan, Cem F CIV USARMY RDECOM ARL (US)" <cem.f.karan....@mail.mil>
Subject US Army Research Laboratory Open Source License (ARL OSL)
Date Tue, 26 Jul 2016 17:17:33 GMT
Hi, my name is Cem Karan.  I work for the US Army Research Laboratory (ARL) in 
Adelphi, MD.  I'm in charge of defining the Open Source policy for ARL.  As a 
part of this, we need a license that meets our legal and regulatory needs, but 
is ideally fully interchangeable with the Apache 2 license as defined at 
http://www.apache.org/licenses/LICENSE-2.0.txt. We also want our license to be 
fully accepted by OSI (https://opensource.org/) as a valid Open Source 
license.

Unfortunately, we cannot directly use the Apache 2 license for all of our 
code.  Most of our researchers work for the US Federal Government and under US 
copyright law any works they produce during the course of their duties do not 
have copyright attached, so we have to rely on contract law as a protection 
mechanism within the USA.  We considered using NOSA 1.3 
(https://opensource.org/licenses/NASA-1.3), but apparently that it isn't 
interoperable with other Open Source licenses.  As I understand it, some work 
on the NOSA 2.0 license was done to improve interoperability, but that work is 
currently stalled.

For that reason, we've tried to modify the Apache 2.0 license to fit our 
needs.  Our license, the ARL Open Source License (ARL OSL), is listed in full 
below and can be diffed with license text found at 
http://www.apache.org/licenses/LICENSE-2.0.txt with relative ease; the text 
has also been attached to this email in case my mail client scrambles the 
formatting.

So, my questions regarding the license are as follows:

- Are there any conflicts in the terms of the ARL OSL and the Apache 2.0 
license?  If so, what are they, and what are the possible fixes for them?  If 
not, could/would the license be listed as a 'category-a' license like the 
licenses found at http://www.apache.org/legal/resolved.html#category-a?

- If there are conflicts, are they directional?  That is, can code under the 
ARL OSL flow to projects under the Apache 2.0 license, but not vice-versa?  If 
so, how do we fix our license?

In my ideal world, where there is copyright protection, the ARL OSL would be 
legally identical to the Apache 2.0 license.  Where there is no copyright 
protection it would fall back on contract law, without preventing the 
copyrightable parts from using copyright protection.  I'm not sure if this is 
possible, but I'm hoping the smart people on this list will help me get as 
close to that ideal as possible.

The summary of changes between the ARL OSL and Apache 2.0 license are as 
follows:

1) Changed the name and version number.

2) Changed the definition of 'Licensor' to use 'project originator' instead of 
'copyright owner'.

3) Changed the definition of 'Work' to not use the word 'copyright'.

4) Changed the definition of 'Contributor' to use 'author' instead of 
'copyright owner'.

5) Removed the word 'copyright' from the Appendix's instructions.

6) In the notice, removed the word 'Copyright'.

7) In the notice, changed 'copyright owner' to Licensor.

8) Scrambled the URL as we don't have one yet.

Thank you,
Cem Karan

"""
         U.S. Army Research Laboratory Open Source License (ARL OSL)
                       Version 0.2.1, July 2016
                        http://no/URL/as/yet

   TERMS AND CONDITIONS FOR USE, REPRODUCTION, AND DISTRIBUTION

   1. Definitions.

      "License" shall mean the terms and conditions for use, reproduction,
      and distribution as defined by Sections 1 through 9 of this document.

      "Licensor" shall mean the project originator or entity authorized by
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      "Work" shall mean the work of authorship, whether in Source or
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   8. Limitation of Liability. In no event and under no legal theory,
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   END OF TERMS AND CONDITIONS

   APPENDIX: How to apply the U.S. Army Research Laboratory Open Source 
License (ARL OSL) to your work.

      To apply the ARL OSL to your work, attach the following
      boilerplate notice, with the fields enclosed by brackets "[]"
      replaced with your own identifying information. (Don't include
      the brackets!)  The text should be enclosed in the appropriate
      comment syntax for the file format. We also recommend that a
      file or class name and description of purpose be included on the
      same "printed page" as the notice for easier
      identification within third-party archives.

   [yyyy] [name of Licensor]

   Licensed under the the U.S. Army Research Laboratory Open Source License 
(ARL OSL), Version 0.2.1 (the "License");
   you may not use this file except in compliance with the License.
   You may obtain a copy of the License at

       http://no/URL/as/yet

   Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software
   distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS,
   WITHOUT WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, either express or implied.
   See the License for the specific language governing permissions and
   limitations under the License.
"""

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