Subject: Re: Submitting GPLv3 and LGPLv3 for OSI inclusion.
From: Matthew Flaschen <>
Date: Fri, 29 Jun 2007 18:00:09 -0400

GPLv3 Information wrote:
>   3. Protecting Users' Legal Rights From Anti-Circumvention Law.
>   No covered work shall be deemed part of an effective technological
> measure under any applicable law fulfilling obligations under article
> 11 of the WIPO copyright treaty adopted on 20 December 1996, or
> similar laws prohibiting or restricting circumvention of such
> measures.
>   When you convey a covered work, you waive any legal power to forbid
> circumvention of technological measures to the extent such circumvention
> is effected by exercising rights under this License with respect to
> the covered work, and you disclaim any intention to limit operation or
> modification of the work as a means of enforcing, against the work's
> users, your or third parties' legal rights to forbid circumvention of
> technological measures.

This could be construed as an OSD #6 violation.  However, it actually
complies, because it still allows the implementation of DRM in GPLv3
software as long as the user can remove it.

>   If you convey an object code work under this section in, or with, or
> specifically for use in, a User Product, and the conveying occurs as
> part of a transaction in which the right of possession and use of the
> User Product is transferred to the recipient in perpetuity or for a
> fixed term (regardless of how the transaction is characterized), the
> Corresponding Source conveyed under this section must be accompanied
> by the Installation Information.

This is also troubling in relation to OSD #6.  I think it squeaks by,
since it doesn't "restrict anyone from making use of the
program in a specific field of endeavor.", just impose an additional
condition (which still complies with OSD).

> But this requirement does not apply
> if neither you nor any third party retains the ability to install
> modified object code on the User Product (for example, the work has
> been installed in ROM).

This ensures that the Installation Information requirement can't be an
OSD #10 violation.

>   When you convey a copy of a covered work, you may at your option
> remove any additional permissions from that copy, or from any part of
> it.

Since they can be removed, additional permissions (including LGPL
itself) don't affect OSD compliance.

>     b) Requiring preservation of specified reasonable legal notices or
>     author attributions in that material or in the Appropriate Legal
>     Notices displayed by works containing it; or

This is still disturbingly broad.  If certain forms of author
attribution, such as the original MPL+B that required /all/ programs
(GUI or not) to display a fixed-size logo with link, are considered
"reasonable" this clearly fails OSD #10.

>     f) Requiring indemnification of licensors and authors of that
>     material by anyone who conveys the material (or modified
>     versions of it) with contractual assumptions of liability to the
>     recipient, for any liability that these contractual assumptions
>     directly impose on those licensors and authors.

OSD doesn't require that a distributor be allowed to sell liability
insurance at all, so this can't be a violation.

>   A patent license is "discriminatory" if it does not include within
> the scope of its coverage, prohibits the exercise of, or is
> conditioned on the non-exercise of one or more of the rights that are
> specifically granted under this License.  You may not convey a covered
> work if you are a party to an arrangement with a third party that is
> in the business of distributing software, under which you make payment
> to the third party based on the extent of your activity of conveying
> the work, and under which the third party grants, to any of the
> parties who would receive the covered work from you, a discriminatory
> patent license (a) in connection with copies of the covered work
> conveyed by you (or copies made from those copies), or (b) primarily
> for and in connection with specific products or compilations that
> contain the covered work, unless you entered into that arrangement,
> or that patent license was granted, prior to 28 March 2007.

This could also be a OSD #5/6 issue, because it completely blocks use by
certain parties.  However, the conveyor can only be restricted if they
agree to a particular patent deal (something that is not guaranteed by
OSD) in relation to GPLv3 software.  Deals solely for unrelated software
won't affect their rights.

The other part relevant to OSD #6 is "in the business of distributing
software"; I don't think this is a particularly good limitation.
However, that party is not the licensee, so they can be discriminated
against based on field of endeavor here.

> The terms of this License will continue to apply to the part which is the
> covered work, but the special requirements of the GNU Affero General
> Public License, section 13, concerning interaction through a network will
> apply to the combination as such.

Until/without the approval of GNU Affero GPL, such combinations would
not be effectively under OSI-approved licenses.

>                        Version 3, 29 June 2007

As I said above, LGPLv3 is OSD-compliant if GPLv3 is (because it
provides only additional permissions).  I don't think only LGPLv3 could
be compliant, because it doesn't provide relief from most of the GPLv3
clauses I identified.

Matt Flaschen