FOSS clauses for contracts & fora for discussing it (was Re: Clarification regarding "FSF legal network")

Bradley M. Kuhn <bkuhn@...>


I went back and read your previous posts from February on this topic,
(as I mentioned earlier in this thread, I don't follow SPDX closely. I
mostly joined this thread (Kibo-like) when the term "FSF" came up).

However, having gotten fully caught up on your posts, I think your idea
is a useful one. In my work doing GPL compliance, I have often had
situations where a downstream company has violated and they never
actually had clear clauses in their contract with upstream about what
would happen if a FLOSS license was violated. This has caused mass
confusion and made it more difficult to get the company into compliance.

In a few cases, there *were* clearly developed clauses like the ones you
mention, and it did indeed facilitate more easy work getting to compliance
on the product.

So, I'm thus supportive of your effort to
promulgate these standardized clauses regarding use of FLOSS in
upstream/downstream contracts. Meanwhile, I wish I had a better
suggestion for you of where to talk about the idea....

RUFFIN, MICHEL (MICHEL) wrote at 08:14 (EDT):
what is your suggestion for me to try to standardize these FOSS
clauses. What organization? I have tried SPDX, I have been advised to
go to FSFE legal network.
... as others have suggested, FOSS Bazaar might be a good place.

I have join the FSFE legal network and I tried to get a reaction
without success except "that's interesting"
It sounds like in addition to my objections to ftf-legal, that there
were other issues: your description seems to indicate ftf-legal wasn't
that interested in this giving useful feedback and collaboration on the

Any suggestion of organization that would have a look?
There was once a forum called "open-bar", which is at: but it's mostly defunct AFAICT.
The mailing lists disappeared a while back. The last email from I have
in my archives for <discuss-general@...> was Tuesday 18 Mar

Meanwhile, as part of the FOSDEM 2012 Legal and Policy track I
coordinated along with Tom Marble, Richard Fontana, and Karen Sandler,
we had some very brief discussions about creating a forum for discussion
that was open and available to all about these issues (like open bar
was). However, it's unclear if, as a community, we're at a "build it
and they would come" moment, so none of us from the FOSDEM 2012 track
have put effort in.

Thus, at the moment, I think FOSS Bazaar is probably the best place to
host this sort of discussion venue, so I think if you want an immediate
discussion about your specific topic, that's probably the place to

Also, as a medium-term suggestion, I strongly recommend you propose a
talk for (a) the FOSDEM 2013 Legal & Policy track, or (b) LinuxCon
(sadly, North America CFP just closed), or (c) at the 2013 Linux
Collaboration Summit Legal Track (which Richard Fontana & I will
co-chair) about the topic. Speaking about the topic at conferences is a
great way to get interest and feedback.

Long term, as a community, it'd be good to solve this general issue: the
fora that exist for Legal, Licensing and Policy issues in Free Software
are scattered across many different places, and some of the primary ones
are closed clubs. I've been witnessing the problem for years and I
don't have a good solution to propose to solve it.
-- bkuhn

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