Follow-up on Research Items from Last SPDX Legal Meeting (9/5)

Jason Buttura

Hi all,

On our last SPDX Legal call, I took two items from the license list for further research:

1) BitTorrent Open Source License 1.1: are there multiple versions of this license, and if so, are the different versions really different? (Line 4 in the spreadsheet)

The spreadsheet comments note that there is also a version 1.0 of this license.  I can't find any text for or even evidence of a BitTorrent Open Source License version 1.0.  Version 1.1 exists now only in archive, either from Wayback Machine or Fedora's website, which is copied from Wayback Machine (I don't know why the spreadsheet says Fedora's link is not active, it seems to be).  Aside from the obvious that 1.1 usually follows a 1.0, I can't even find a reference to there ever having been a 1.0 version.  If anyone has any insight into the alleged 1.0, that would be helpful.  I am leaning towards the idea that if it's so hard to even confirm that 1.0 ever existed, it's not worth including in the license list, at least until someone can find an actual example in the wild.

2) Netizen Open Source License 1.0: is this license really different from MPL 1.1? (Line 12 in the spreadsheet)

I did a doc compare between the Netizen Open Source License 1.1 and MPL 1.1.  Aside from the irrelevant differences (names of orgs/parties, some section numbering, capitalization), there are actually two places where they are not the same.  One is that the NOSL 1.1 has an additional Section 7.1 with a more detailed warranty disclaimer that MPL 1.1 does not have.  Second is that they have different and conflicting choice of law provisions, with NOSL specifying Victoria (Canada I presume?) and MPL specifying California.  They are otherwise identical, but I think this is a material enough difference to justify NOSL being a unique license on the list.



Jason S. Buttura
Corporate Counsel
Open Source Licensing & Technology
Phone: +1-408-525-5119
Mobile: +1-415-609-4130

Cisco Systems, Inc.
300 East Tasman Drive
Mail Stop: SJC 10/5/3
San Jose, CA 95134

This email may contain confidential and privileged material for the sole use of the intended recipient. Any review, use, distribution or disclosure by others is strictly prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient (or authorized to receive for the recipient), please contact the sender by reply email and delete all copies of this message.

Philippe Ombredanne

On Wed, Sep 19, 2012 at 2:24 AM, Jason Buttura (jbuttura)
<jbuttura@...> wrote:
I can't find any text for or even evidence of a BitTorrent Open Source License version 1.0.
Jason: there is a good reason for this:

The use of the V1.0 license was limited to a brief period in time and
a long seven years ago. Cases of actual reuse of code under this
license exist but are very rare. And even more rare in current Linux
distributions and actual alive open source projects or products. I
have never seen it used in any current codebase. Being a short-lived,
seldom-used transitional license, a valid question is whether this is
enough to justify having an SPDX license entry for it.
My opinion is that it is likely not enough and that we should consider
dropping it.

For the record:
This V1.0 license that was used briefly for versions 3.9.x and early
versions 4.x of BitTorrent circa 2005.
It can be found in the LICENSE.txt of the .tar.gz downloads for these
versions available here: such as in:
or in
in /usr/share/doc/BitTorrent-3.9.1/LICENSE.txt
or in;O=D

The actual license history is this :

- BitTorrent used an MIT license from late 2001 to until about 2005
- At about version 3.9.x it started using the V1.0 license. This V1.0
license was used briefly for releases made in 2005 from v3.9.x to
- Starting with v4.2.x the V1.1 was introduced.

Philippe Ombredanne