[License-review] Request for Approval of NO NONSENSE OPEN SOURCE LICENSE
kfogel at red-bean.com
Fri Jun 8 15:03:21 UTC 2012
Love Nystrom <love.nystrom at gmail.com> writes:
>I submit a request for OSI review and approval of this "No Nonsense
>Open Source License".
>This license is a direct derivative of the BSD 3-clause license, with
>the addition of a 4th clause specifically prohibiting a 3rd party to
>charge for the original work.
Such a clause makes the license non-open-source, and violates at least clause 6
("No Discrimination Against Fields of Endeavor") of the Open Source
>There is good reason for such a clause, in light of some horrific
>examples seen recently in the Open Source software community, where a
>3d party have charged 100s of dollars for open source software, with
>little or no derivative efforts of their own.
Open source does not (and can not) prohibit undeserved commercial gain.
As long as the terms of the original software's license are complied
with, including any attribution requirements and license notice
requirements, people are free to charge whatever unjustified amount they
wish for providing a copy of the software. If they can find customers
willing to pay that amount, that's between them and the customer.
>I feel the BSD license is "short, sweet, and to the point", and
>therefore a good starting point,
>but none of the licenses I've reviewed address the issue of 3rd
>parties extracting economic profit
>from work that's been freely given by it's original author(s).
In open source, people are allowed to extract unearned profit, so long
as they do not interfere with others' freedoms in ways that violate the
open source license.
>The new 4th clause permits a 3rd party to charge for their own efforts
That is what people are doing already -- they are charging for providing
a copy. Charging an unreasonable amount, but they wouldn't be the first
merchant to take advantage of a customer's ignorance.
Open source does not remove all injustice from the world. It merely
provides a framework in which people can reliably exercise a certian set
of freedoms, if they choose to.
>That is, they may e.g. charge proportionally to the ratio of their own
>work to the extent of
>the original work, for their own derivative work, when they include
>the original work in their own,
>or, extract a reasonable fee for media and shipping if they send
>physical copies to a 3rd party, & c..,
>but they may not charge for the original work itself without written
>permission from the original author(s).
>The BSD license has also been re-phrased slightly, replacing
>"software" with the more generic "work",
>in an attempt to make it applicable to a wider audience of authors.
>The 3rd clause, governing endorsement, may be optional, at the
>discretion of the author(s),
>as with the current BSD license.
>It is my hope that the review process can actually make the text of
>the 4th clause a bit shorter,
>while still retaining the clarity of intent.
> B.O.Love Nystrom
> Senior software engineer
> Independent Software Developers
>The preliminary text of the license template follows, expecting the
><OWNER> = Identification of the author(s)/owner(s)
><ORGANIZATION> = His/her/their organization, if applicable
><YEAR> = Release year of the work
>[Begin License Template]
>NO NONSENSE OPEN SOURCE LICENSE
>Copyright (c) <YEAR>, <OWNER>
>All rights reserved.
>Redistribution and use in source and binary forms, with or without
>are permitted provided that the following conditions are met:
>(*) Redistributions of source work must retain the above copyright notice,
> this list of conditions and the following disclaimer.
>(*) Redistributions in binary form must reproduce the above copyright
> this list of conditions and the following disclaimer in the
> and/or other materials provided with the distribution.
>(*) Neither the name of <OWNER/ORGANIZATION> nor the names of it's
> may be used to endorse or promote products derived from this work
> without specific prior written permission.
>(*) You may not demand payment for this work, except for Your own efforts.
> That is, You may e.g. charge for Your own efforts if You include this
> work in derivative works of Your own, or You may extract a reasonable
> charge for the distribution media and mailing cost if You send a disk
> containing the work to a 3rd party, but You may not charge for the
> work itself without written permission from the original author(s).
> The original author(s) of this work believes it very wrong if a
> demands payment for work that he/she/they have given away for free.
>THIS WORK IS PROVIDED BY THE COPYRIGHT HOLDERS AND CONTRIBUTORS "AS IS"
>AND ANY EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE
>IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE
>IN NO EVENT SHALL THE COPYRIGHT HOLDER OR CONTRIBUTORS BE LIABLE FOR ANY
>DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL, EXEMPLARY, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES
>(INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, PROCUREMENT OF SUBSTITUTE GOODS OR
>LOSS OF USE, DATA, OR PROFITS; OR BUSINESS INTERRUPTION) HOWEVER CAUSED AND
>ON ANY THEORY OF LIABILITY, WHETHER IN CONTRACT, STRICT LIABILITY, OR TORT
>(INCLUDING NEGLIGENCE OR OTHERWISE) ARISING IN ANY WAY OUT OF THE USE OF
>THIS WORK, EVEN IF ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGE.
>[End of License Template]
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