License Approval Request: Ritchey Permissive License v12

Submission of Ritchey Permissive License v12 as per the process outlined here.

1. Link to the full text the license

2. State the rationale for the new license.

This license differs significantly from the most similar approved licenses.

3. Explain whether the license may be used by any licensor

Anyone can be a licensor. The license text is freely distributed under itself, and makes no mention of the author.

4. Compare and contrast to the most similar approved as OD-conformant licenses

It is most similar to the CC0, and MirOS License. However, calling them similar is a stretch.

The CC0 is actually a public domain dedication, but it includes a fallback license for where this isn’t possible. This fallback license extends the licensor’s rights to the licensee. This allows it to grant permissions without listing individual actions (eg: copy, modify, etc), and then uses a list of exceptions to prohibit select actions. This approach of whitelisting permissions by default, and then blacklisting select ones is the same approach used in this license. Unlike the CC0, this license does not put works in the public domain. It’s purely a license, not a public domain dedication.

Neither this license nore the CC0 require retention of the license terms with a work. This fails to ensure disclaimers of warranty reach end users. Unlike the CC0, this license attempts to pass such obligations on.

MirOS License:
Like the MirOS License, this license does not define terms. This leaves the language more open to interpretation. However, the wording used differs, and this license binds to a specific jurisdiction thus setting some precedent for how terms might be interpreted by a court.

5. Explain the benefit the new license brings

This license is different from the existing options in both wording, and features so it fills a gap in the available options.

6. Identify which recommended conformant licenses the new license is compatible with

No evaluation of compatibility has been done by any reputable service/organization/etc. As far as I can tell, this license is compatible with all of the currently recommended conformant licenses except the CC Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International, because it imposes restrictions on which licenses can be used with it. Specifically, if you modify a work you must use a compatible Creative Commons license on your changes.

7. Provide a link to any public drafting process

Not applicable. Drafts are not done publicly.

1 Like

There are several questionable aspects of this license, but I will point out the one that makes it clearly non-open:

If any portion of this license is known by the legal entity to have been previously deemed unenforceable, by a court of law, in applicable jurisdictions, this license cannot be accepted. The legal entity must make an effort to determine this before accepting this license.

This license cannot be counted on to grant the permissions required by the open definition, and the effort requested is not an acceptable condition for the open definition.


Just noticed that v11 of this license was not approved by the OSI, with the recommendation of the OSI license committee having been published June 22 [License-review] Request - For Approval - Ritchey Permissive License v11

1 Like

Thanks for your diligence @mlinksva . I share the concerns and hesitation based on what I’m seeing though I haven’t done a thorough review.

How is this a rationale? Being different for the sake of difference isn’t a reason for a license to exist. The “rationale” question is asking what purpose this license has, what it accomplishes that cannot be accomplished just as well with existing licenses.

I think it imperative that any new license approval process considers interoperability with specifically the CC‑BY‑4.0 license. It is pointless to consider adherence to the Open Definition 2.1 as the sole criteria. We already have enough compliant licenses each capable of creating its own data silo without adding more. I have argued elsewhere that there should be a complete moratorium on new approvals. OKF, are you listening? HTH. R

1 Like