[License-review] Request for Approval : Modular Open Software License (MOSL)

Hadrien G. knights_of_ni at gmx.com
Wed Jan 30 08:12:41 UTC 2013


Hello again, everyone !

Last September, I attempted to submit an open-source license project to 
your expert eyes, called Modular Open-source Software License or MOSL. 
It was an attempt to combine the best of the permissive and GPL worlds 
(in my opinion at least), by achieving the following results:

* If someone redistributes a binary of the software, or a derivative of 
it, then he must also provide access to its source code to licensees. As 
is the case with the GPL.
* If someone wishes to set additional redistribution conditions on his 
derivative, such as charging a fee for licensing, then he is free to do 
so. As is the case with permissive licenses. He cannot, however, remove 
the requirement of source redistribution this way.

John Cowan suggested me to have a look at the Sleepycat license, which 
achieved a similar result in an beautifully concise way. It had some 
worrying defects though, most noticeably that it restricted itself to 
database software, explicitly mentioned "Sleepycat software" in the 
disclaimer, and left room for legal loopholes with terms allowing for 
"reasonable" fees and redistribution conditions to be set on the 
provided source code access. I also was a bit wary of the Sleepycat 
disclaimer being too restrictive for general-purpose use, as it didn't 
allow software authors to explicitly provide warranties on their 
software if they wanted to.

Thorsten Glaser and Bruce Perens also warned me that I should not put 
the "open-source" name on something which can be used to create software 
that isn't OSI-compliant, and that due to legal uncertainty surrounding 
software license copyright, I should probably not make a direct rip-off 
of the Sleepycat license's text either.

Today, I found some spare time to finish a new version of my license. I 
believe that it eliminates all the aforementioned defects of the 
Sleepycat license, and I tried to rewrite the terms so that they cannot 
infringe on any Sleepycat copyright, without significantly altering the 
semantics. I also changed the "open-source" in the name with a mere 
"open", so as to avoid the aforementioned naming issue.

Please tell me what you think of the result !

===

**************************************************
***    Modular Open Software License (MOSL)    ***
***      Working Draft 3, 30 January 2013      ***
***  Copyright (c) 2012-2013 Hadrien Grasland  ***
**************************************************

Redistribution and use of this software, or modified forms of it, are 
permitted provided that the following conditions are met:

* Redistributions of source code must retain this list of conditions, 
the above copyright notice, and the following disclaimer.
* Redistributions in binary form must include a copy of this list of 
conditions, the above copyright notice, and the following disclaimer, 
whether in documentation or in other provided materials.
* Redistributions in any form must be accompanied by information on how 
to obtain complete source code for this software, and any accompanying 
software that makes use of it. Source code must either be included in 
the distribution, or be available for no more than the cost of its 
distribution. For an executable file, complete source code means the 
source code for all modules it contains, save for modules or files that 
are typically provided with the operating system on which the executable 
file runs.

UNLESS REQUIRED BY APPLICABLE LAW OR AGREED TO IN WRITING, THIS SOFTWARE 
IS PROVIDED "AS IS", WITHOUT ANY EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES, 
INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF NON-INFRINGEMENT, 
MERCHANTABILITY, OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. IN NO EVENT SHALL 
THE AUTHORS OF THE SOFTWARE BE LIABLE, AGAIN UNLESS REQUIRED BY 
APPLICABLE LAW OR AGREED TO IN WRITING, FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, 
INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL, EXEMPLARY OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES, HOWEVER CAUSED 
AND ON ANY THEORY OF LIABILITY, ARISING IN ANY WAY OUT OF THE USE OF 
THIS SOFTWARE, EVEN IF ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGE.

===

Best regards,
Neolander


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