Is our MPL 2.0 HD license header too ambiguous?

I was discussing our licensing & headers today with someone, and it struck me that our license header is ambiguous:

 * This Source Code Form is subject to the terms of the Mozilla Public License,
 * v. 2.0. If a copy of the MPL was not distributed with this file, You can
 * obtain one at OpenMRS is also distributed under
 * the terms of the Healthcare Disclaimer located at
 * Copyright (C) OpenMRS Inc. OpenMRS is a registered trademark and the OpenMRS
 * graphic logo is a trademark of OpenMRS Inc.

Specifically, what’s ambiguous (IMHO) is this sentence:

"OpenMRS is also distributed under the terms of the Healthcare Disclaimer located at"

Shouldn’t we be more specific? OpenMRS is now the name of our community, and not the name of any specific software product we produce. So maybe it should instead list the name of the specific product, e.g., Platform or Reference Application?

Or maybe, we should be more ambiguous to allow the header to be reused, e.g., "This OpenMRS-produced software is also distributed under the terms of the Healthcare Disclaimer located at"

Anyone have thoughts on this?

I agree that the wording we’re using is wrong. Good catch!

-1000 to having different license text in different repositories.

I would just say “This software”, because while it’s true that we are all OpenMRS, “OpenMRS-produced” makes it sound like OpenMRS is a concrete entity that produced the software.


This would work for OpenMRS Release 2.4. Similar wording for all other OpenMRS software releases:

Copyright © 2016 OpenMRS Inc. OpenMRS is a registered trademark of OpenMRS Inc.

This program (“OpenMRS Release 2.4”) and its individual component files are all open source. They are distributed around the world by the OpenMRS project under the MPL-HD license, a copy of which is in the LICENSE file. You may freely copy, make modifications, and distribute those works to others under the terms of this copyleft MPL-HD license. Individual components of this program may also be available under their own open source licenses with their own terms and conditions, as described more fully below.

[Below this the “Release Notes 2.4” drafted by @burke.]

[Below this identify all components of this Release 2.4 that are under an open source license other than MPL-HD.]

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That sounds good enough for me, i love the idea of separating the OpenMRS community which the word “OpenMRS” signifies to the software packages we are producing. and it would be re-usable for modules.

Wondering is all our code contributing organisations are aware that they are actually OpenMRS or part of the OpenMRS community!!!

I agree with the clarifications that Darius gave.

Good catch, Michael. :slightly_smiling:

I think we should make a more generic version. All software hosted under the OpenMRS org (or produced by volunteers) should ideally carry the same license? So perhaps, we just replace “OpenMRS Release 2.4” with the name of the project?

It is ambiguous indeed. But using “this software” or “this program” is also not appropriate, since those terms are primarily used with binaries that are distributed. So I think, “this source code form” is actually the correct wording. My suggestion is that we write the second sentence as, “This is also distributed under…”. I also think we shouldn’t do version specific or distribution specific license headers, since they are also licensed under the same license.

We are also missing the year, which is an important part of the notice. So I like @lrosen, version which starts with the Copyright year and owner.

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