Subject: RE: License Proliferation
From: "Lawrence Rosen" <lrosen@rosenlaw.com>
Date: Thu, 1 Sep 2005 21:10:09 -0700

Hi Russ,

> The very most basic question 
> (which you don't ask) is this:
> 
>   Does OSI certify all licenses that comply with the OSD?
> 
> or
> 
>   Does OSI certify all good licenses that comply with the OSD?

Thanks for asking.

As I've told you often before, my opinion has always been that OSI should
approve licenses that comply with the OSD. Period. 

If necessary (as was done once during my tenure) revise the OSD. But don't
keep moving the goal posts when licenses try to cross into the end zone.

I think that the role of license-discuss, the License Proliferation
committee, and the OSI Board is to help educate people so that the licenses
that are proposed are good for open source, necessary, and legally proper.
Those needn't be conditions for approval. They need not even be conditions
for "tiering" although I'm still open to that option. I just want to have
hard discussions on this list about particular licenses, the good and the
bad aired for all to see, without it affecting the approval process. And
without it becoming personal.

Licenses will survive or fail based upon their merits, the merits of the
business plans underlying the licenses, and the merits of the software
itself. 

As soon as the folks on this list have started listening again -- and
stopped bashing Russ Nelson, Martin Fink, the authors of the OVPL, and each
other -- I hope to suggest some very practical solutions to encourage more
"good" licenses. And I will look forward to others once again discussing,
calmly and with intelligence, these issues here as well.

Best regards,

/Larry

Lawrence Rosen
Rosenlaw & Einschlag, technology law offices (www.rosenlaw.com)
3001 King Ranch Road, Ukiah, CA 95482
707-485-1242  *  fax: 707-485-1243
Author of "Open Source Licensing: Software Freedom and 
   Intellectual Property Law" (Prentice Hall 2004) 
   [Available also at www.rosenlaw.com/oslbook.htm]
 
 

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Russell Nelson [mailto:nelson@crynwr.com] 
> Sent: Thursday, September 01, 2005 8:19 PM
> To: license-discuss@opensource.org
> Subject: Re: License Proliferation
> 
> Lawrence Rosen writes:
>  >    http://www.osdl.org/newsroom/articles/License_Proliferation.pdf
> 
> .... and if wishes were fishes everyone would eat.
> 
> So are you suggesting that OSI be *even more* proactive about 
> license quality?  I've tried to implement your suggestion #1 
> and gotten hammered for it.  The very most basic question 
> (which you don't ask) is this:
> 
>   Does OSI certify all licenses that comply with the OSD?
> 
> or
> 
>   Does OSI certify all good licenses that comply with the OSD?
> 
> In other words, do we take into account the interests of the 
> community?  Or do we act as a conditional rubber stamp -- conditional
> *only* upon compliance with the OSD?
> 
> I suggest that the answer is not obvious.  It's not obvious 
> what the right answer is, and it's not obvious what the 
> community wants us to do.  Ian Lance Taylor was complaining 
> earlier that we don't ask people questions.  Presumably, now 
> that I'm asking, he'll have an opinion.
> 
> -- 
> --my blog is at     blog.russnelson.com         | with some 
> experience 
> Crynwr sells support for free software  | PGPok |     you 
> know what to do.
> 521 Pleasant Valley Rd. | +1 315-323-1241       | with more experience
> Potsdam, NY 13676-3213  |                       |     you 
> know what not to do.