On Mon, Jan 6, 2020 at 6:00 PM Bradley M. Kuhn <bkuhn(a)ebb.org> wrote:
But let's leave my NDA out of it -- it muddies the example. Let's focus on
this being the reason the Downstream never distributes:
> > Downstream would have the right to distribute under the 2-Clause-BSD --
> > but why would they? They just paid a lot of money to get that, and they
> > just give it to their competition? There are few business who would care
> > about software freedom enough to do that.
I brought *that* up because I was expecting you to say: "Oh, if
Downstream a 2-Clause-BSD, then Downstream can just post it on the Internet,
and everyone else effectively *has* the same license anyway." Let's just
assume that won't happen for the reasons I stated above (or other ones):
> > I think *maybe* this problem (if real) could be remedied
with a deflation of
> > proprietary relicensing clause that reads something more like this:
> > If I distribute a Covered Work under any license (except pursuant to
> > 6(a-c))
> (More specifically, "except pursuant to 6(a)" [stuff under compatible
> licenses], right?)
Yeah, more focused on 6(a) but also not sure if 6(b-c) have impact on or
interaction bug with my proposed rewrite of this clause. Do they?
I'm not seeing how 6(b) or 6(c) have an impact.
> "If I offer to license, for a fee, a Covered Work under
terms other than
> a license that is OSI-Approved or FSF-Free as of the release date of this
> License or a numbered version of copyleft-next released by the
> Copyleft-Next Project, then the license I grant You under section 1 is no
> longer subject to the conditions in sections 3 through 5."
> Maybe we should go back to that? At the moment I can't remember why this
> was changed. Though it may still have the tomfoolery problem you're
> pointing to.
Actually, that old version is "even worse" in this regard, because it
explicitly *permits* Vendor to sell 2-Clause-BSD versions of the software to
Yeah, that isn't what was meant by "by a fee" but the language is
We can't forbid them from doing this outright, because in the
worried about, they're the sole copyright holder. What I'm trying to do is:
(a) make sure that the Vendor is *highly disincentivezed* from selling
non-copylefted licenses to the software,
(b) all copyleft requirements deflate on all copyrights Vendor holds on any
Covered Works, everywhere, at the very moment any non-copyleft license
(c) That the public has a way to find out if (a) and/or (b) have happened.
I think the current draft does much better at these jobs than any other
version, but I still think there is the "non-copyleft FOSS license loophole"
in both versions.
If it weren't for 6(a), BTW, I would probably just write it this way:
If I distribute a Covered Work under any license other than this License,
then the licenses I grant You under section 1 are no longer subject to the
conditions in sections 2 and 3.
Basically, this clause itself must be a copyleft clause (sorry for the
recursion), in that it must apply to all Covered Works *and* confine the
behavior (namely, the permanent relaxation of all *other* copyleft
requirements for every Covered Work controlled by given "I" (in the
problematic case, the sole licensor). We also have to be sure, BTW, that it
doesn't relax copyleft for any other "I"s (i.e., copyright holders who may
have made Covered Works by combining/adding their own copyrighted material
I *think* this 'just works' but I'm wondering if there are bugs? I also
really wanna explore how 6(a) interacts. (I assume 6(a) is there to get some
GPLv3/AGPLv3 compatibility? I'm not completely sure 6(a) works right anyway,
so maybe that's why I'm all worried about how 6(a) will interact with this
I'm not convinced this is a realistic enough problem to be worth
worrying about. Maybe I need to think about it some more or have an
off-list discussion with you (obviously which will then be timely
Hindering Backchannels Rule cured).
By "this" I think I mean "offering a more permissive free software
license in return for money, with no other strings attached". That's
essentially the scenario, right? When has that ever been done though?
(I am aware of something arguably analogous to this but only involving
the GPL.) If I was the would-be copyleft inequality vendor I wouldn't
try something so reckless (from a business standpoint). The vendor is
banking on the customer being unlikely to exercise their BSD rights
because of, essentially, something akin to sunk costs?
I don't know if you and I are the only ones still reading this list
(which I'm afraid has been mostly dormant given the mostly dormant
nature of copyleft-next during the past few years) but if anyone else
is reading I'd love to know their comments. :)