Open Source Initiative Approves New CPAL

Lora Bentley

After nine months of hard work -- and quite a bundle in legal fees -- Socialtext's quest for an OSI-approved attribution license has ended in success. On Wednesday, the OSI added the Common Public Attribution License to its list of approved open source licenses, eWEEK reports.


The enterprise wiki provider wanted an approved license so that its products could carry the OSI-certified label and the company could call itself open source, according to CEO and co-founder Ross Mayfield. And having an approved license would cut down on license proliferation by allowing the 40 or so companies that use non-approved, Mozilla-like licenses the opportunity to move to an approved one.


But the obstacles were many. In Socialtext's initial submission, the story says, the license technology was not neutral. Then there were questions regarding whether the Affero "network use" provision in the license was future-proof. To address those issues, Open Source License drafter Lawrence Rosen allowed Socialtext to use that license's external deployment clause, Mayfield said, which addresses the delivery of open source software over the Internet.


Despite the length and cost of the approval process, Mayfield says the approval process has been worth it, if only to validate Socialtext's position as an open source company.

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