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OSI Responds to React.JS License Issues

Earlier this year, OSI indirectly responded to the React.JS license issue by approving a BSD+Patent license, with the stated goal of providing: a) a simple permissive license; b) that is compatible with the GNU General Public License (GPL), version 2; and c) which also has an express patent grant included.  

The BSD license alone has no express patent grant, and a patent license is considered to be implied.  Facebook and other organizations have taken advantage of the silence to add an express patent grant with sometimes concerning restrictions.  This new BSD+Patent license provides and OSI approved permissive open source license, without condition on downstream development.  It positions the React.JS and similar licenses as non-standard OS licenses, which should further scrutiny of the implications of that non-standard license.  On the other hand, OSI issued a new license rather than updating the standard BSD license, which leaves some justification for the restrictive use. 

In any case, restrictive patent riders to the BSD license can present challenges to the use of that software.  OSI's recent action does not change any existing license, but hopefully will put some pressure on licensors not to use the subtle trick Facebook has used to turn freely permissive open source into a full scale patent grab.

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