Re: New License/Exception Request: BSD-3-Clause-NoNuclear

Philippe Ombredanne

On Wed, Mar 30, 2016 at 1:12 PM, Sam Ellis <Sam.Ellis@...> wrote:
Please consider adding the following license to the SPDX license list:
Full name: BSD 3-clause w/nuclear disclaimer

Short identifier: BSD-3-Clause-NoNuclear


OSI approved: No

Explanation: This is a variant of BSD-3-Clause commonly found in
Java-related code released by Sun/Oracle, with a warranty disclaimer at the
bottom regarding nuclear use: “You acknowledge that this software is not
designed, licensed or intended for use in the design, construction,
operation or maintenance of any nuclear facility.”. One way to handle this
is to add it as a new license type, and another would be to capture the
nuclear portion as an exception. In the following two examples, there is
also a minor difference in the first few sentences of the warranty section,
so if these are deemed significant then it might need two separate licenses,
and if insignificant then it might be possible to handle these via a
template. Note the licensor differs in these cases, so that needs to be
templated too. A plain text copy of the license is also attached to this
I am not a lawyer and I see several claiming on this list that this
license would not comply with various FLOSS definitions.
But how this extra clause would be a use restriction of any kind?

If I am running a nuclear facility in my backyard and I want to use a
fine piece of code using this license, am I restricted in anyway to do
so by this license?
The way I read this is that I am not restricted at all. I just need to
acknowledge that this was not created for this purpose, whatever this
means practically. And then I can run my power plant happily
thereafter with this code.

So at best this may be an extra warranty disclaimer and warranties are
disclaimed already anyway.

Now there may be other constraints that apply to me outside of this
license: I may be obliged by a regulation or law to use software that
was designed for this nuclear purpose. But this is not part of this
license at all.

So IMHO even in the field of nuclear facilities, there is no direct
usage restriction in *this* license.

Does this make sense legally?

FWIW, this license is recognized by Debian as a BSD and used for
packages in the main archive.

Philippe Ombredanne

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