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posted by martyb on Friday March 24 2017, @08:21PM   Printer-friendly
from the socket-to-me dept.

The OpenSSL project, home of the world’s most popular SSL/TLS and cryptographic toolkit, is changing its license to the Apache License v 2.0 (ASL v2). As part of this effort, the OpenSSL team launched a new website and has been working with various corporate collaborators to facilitate the re-licensing process.

“This re-licensing activity will make OpenSSL, already the world’s most widely-used FOSS encryption software, more convenient to incorporate in the widest possible range of free and open source software,” said Mishi Choudhary, Legal Director of Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC) and counsel to OpenSSL. “OpenSSL’s team has carefully prepared for this re-licensing, and their process will be an outstanding example of ‘how to do it right.’ SFLC is pleased to have been able to help the team bring this process to this point, and looks forward to its successful and timely completion.”

The website will aid the OpenSSL team’s efforts to contact everyone who has contributed to the project so far, which includes nearly 400 individuals with a total of more than 31,000 commits. The current license dates back to the 1990’s and is more than 20 years old. The open source community has grown and changed since then, and has mostly settled on a small number of standard licenses.

The full announcement is at

Original Submission

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  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by FakeBeldin on Saturday March 25 2017, @06:38AM (1 child)

    by FakeBeldin (3360) on Saturday March 25 2017, @06:38AM (#484046) Journal

    This comment by NickHolland @ The Register bears repeating:

    no. The issue is not "the" license, nor the change of the license.

    The issue is the way the license is attempting be changed.

    One person can not say, "I want to change the license, and if you don't respond, I'll take it as approval".

    There are right ways and wrong ways to do this. Some years ago, the OpenBSD project wanted to clean up the licenses on the entire distribution, as there were lots of little things with sloppy (or no!) licenses. They worked to contact EACH author, and they either got clear permission to change or REMOVED THE CODE (sometimes replaced, sometimes not). While benefits of making the change were explained, the license is the choice of the original author, period. Lots of problems were found -- missing contact info, people who had died, people who didn't want to change...and all those situations were respected.

    Authors of code put their intended license on the code. If they change their mind, great. Others may attempt to persuade them to change, but the decision needs to remain with the author. If they wish to use the most gawd-awful license, THAT'S THEIR CHOICE.

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 25 2017, @01:20PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 25 2017, @01:20PM (#484086)
    That way lies a lawsuit if one isn’t careful.