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Re: [Licensing] Request to evaluate candidate HTML Document license (known as "Option 3")

From: Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>
Date: Sun, 03 Apr 2011 17:56:10 -0400
Message-ID: <4D98ECFA.4080905@intertwingly.net>
To: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
CC: "Dailey, David P." <david.dailey@sru.edu>, Gervase Markham <gerv@mozilla.org>, "licensing@mozilla.org" <licensing@mozilla.org>, HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>
On 04/03/2011 05:21 PM, Maciej Stachowiak wrote:
> On Apr 3, 2011, at 9:58 AM, Dailey, David P. wrote:
>> Gervase Markham writes (for Mozilla):
>> "Our opinion is that Option 3 does not satisfy requirement A),
>> because it contains field-of-use restrictions."
>> Requirement A is "A) The license must meet the Open Source
>> Definition and the Free Software Definition."
>> Out of curiosity, I looked at Option 3 [1] , the Open Source
>> Definition [2] and the Free Software Definition [3], and didn't
>> quite see how Option 3 had field-of-use restrictions. I may be
>> missing it in the Free Software Definition but I'm not sure what
>> parts it might be covered under, while field of use restrictions in
>> the Open Source Definition seem to be defined by clause (6) of that
>> document:
>> "6. No Discrimination Against Fields of Endeavor The license must
>> not restrict anyone from making use of the program in a specific
>> field of endeavor. For example, it may not restrict the program
>> from being used in a business, or from being used for genetic
>> research."
>> I'm just not seeing what field of endeavor Option 3 would
>> discriminate against.
>> I'm not saying this is wrong, but rather am just asking for
>> clarification. If someone is going to reconcile some rather
>> divergent perspectives on the licensure issue, understanding what
>> those perspectives are would seem to be in order, though I
>> recognize that this may seem a tad idealistic to some.
> I believe Mozilla is interpreting the restriction of Option 3 to
> software as a field-of-use restriction. Non-software uses, such as
> documentation that does not accompany software, would be restricted.
> On the other hand, Eben Moglen interpreted Option 3 as compatible
> with the GPL, and therefore free of "other restrictions". This seems
> potentially in conflict with Mozilla's interpretation, since a
> "field-of-use restriction" would presumably be an "other
> restriction".

I think it is much more likely that Eben Moglen found Option 3 to be 
compatible with the GPL as is free of the requirement to pass on "other 
restrictions".  I also encourage everybody to read the definition of 
"GPL Compatible":


Speaking as the V.P. of Legal Affairs at the Apache Software Foundation, 
the ASF would be fine with projects at the ASF incorporating materials 
made available under this license into their codebases.

Again, speaking with my ASF hat on and my W3C co-chair hat off, I would 
very much rather we be talking about Mozilla's point (c).

- Sam Ruby
Received on Sunday, 3 April 2011 21:57:04 UTC

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