Subject: Re: OSI approves CPAL at OSCON 2007
From: "Ross Mayfield" <ross.mayfield@socialtext.com>
Date: Mon, 30 Jul 2007 20:24:50 -0700
Mon, 30 Jul 2007 20:24:50 -0700
Wanted the close the loop and thank license-discuss and OSI for the approval
of the Common Public Attribution License.  Now that we have Socialtext has
followed the process, we are adopting CPAL and are OSI-Certified and
genuinely Open Source.  If our license wasn't approved, we would have
selected an OSI-Certified license less optimal for our products.  And since
it was, other products can choose this path, and my hope is CPAL will grow
our community.

Dan Bricklin has written a great guide for those considering adopting CPAL
for their own projects:

https://www.socialtext.net/open/index.cgi?how_to_apply_the_cpal_to_your_product

Again, thank you to those who participated in the process.  Even though we
might not have agreed, I am pleased with the outcome of the text and know
most of you are.  I look forward to contributing to future discussions.

Ross

On 7/30/07, Michael Tiemann <tiemann@opensource.org> wrote:
>
> I have no idea why this never made it to the reflector.  I'll try sending
> again.
>
> M
>
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> From: Michael Tiemann <tiemann@opensource.org>
> Date: Jul 27, 2007 1:43 AM
> Subject: OSI approves CPAL at OSCON 2007
> To: license-discuss@opensource.org
>
>
> I wish that Russ Nelson or I would have been the first to be able to
> report the results of the board meetings held at OSCON this week.  The
> schedule of our activities was posted on our wiki, but that schedule
> did not necessarily tell the whole story of our busy time in Portland.
> Between the 6 hour work session Sunday, the 10+ hour board meeting
> Monday, programming and presentations Tue-Thu, the hour-long BOF on
> Tuesday, the 2+ hour BOF on Wednesday night, and 16+ hours of booth
> duty (usually attended by at least 2 OSI board members, and which
> helped the OSI raise approximately $4000 from approximately 200
> conference attendees), there has been a lot to juggle.  Not to mention
> the challenge of coordinating 8 different board members staying in 8
> different hotels, working for 8 different companies, each of which are
> demanding lots of attention when we're not attending OSI-related
> meetings.  I now have time to write this email because OSCON 2007 is
> over for me, and I have a few hours before I need to wake up and catch
> an early morning flight to my next destination.
>
> In Monday's board meeting the topic of whether to approve the CPAL was
> considered.   We took the advice of the License Approval Chair, which
> was to approve the CPAL.  We know that there was not 100% consensus
> among those who subscribe to license-discuss, but we felt that there
> was reasonable consensus that the safe harbor of the license was
> sufficiently broad to meet the requirements of the OSD and therefore
> approve the license.  Whereas there was significant and broad
> consensus *against* the predecessor version, the response by many to
> the current version was a stark contrast that we read as general
> acceptance.  In the course of taking that recommendation, which I
> agreed with, I observed what I considered to be a mismatch between the
> text of the license and the intentions discussed, debated, and before
> us to approve.
>
> I suggested that it would be better to correct the error in the
> license as long as such correction did not in any way affect the
> substance of the discussion of that license.  If the error had in any
> way violated the OSD, I would have sent the license back to the review
> process, as I did when the SimPL license was (erroneously) submitted
> with incorrect text.  But this error related to a potential for
> confusion where none need exist, in a license whose terms were
> otherwise recommended for approval.  I thought it better to make a
> change and approve a license with less potential for confusion than to
> approve the license and deal later with the confusion, or force yet
> another delay on an already long-delayed process simply to recount
> votes that had already been cast.  The board discussed this and
> agreed.
>
> In the middle of all this, I was lobbied by a third party attending
> OSCON to make additional changes that would have altered the substance
> of the license, I said "no, we're not going to consider changing the
> conditions of the bargain--we're only going to consider corrections to
> the text to reflect the bargain that was discussed."  I further
> explained that if the person's proposed change was not enough to
> change consensus on license-discuss (to which he had posted his
> suggestion to no avail), private lobbying wasn't going to get me to
> suggest a private amendment to the licenseas a requirement for
> approval.  The community had been consulted, and its stance on that
> issue as well as the overall substance, which was not a unanimous
> stance, was clear.
>
> If the board were more efficient in conducting its business, perhaps
> we would have time to check and re-check every submission while still
> providing tolerable turn-around.  The board certainly values the
> advice that the License Approval Committee provides to us--it is
> advice we take very seriously and it is advice that helps us greatly
> to define and communicate our statements about the licenses submitted
> to us.  Even when a license is clearly OSD-compliant or clearly not
> OSD-compliant, we are happy that there are "many eyes" reading along
> with us, making the work both easier and more certain.  But it is an
> advisory role, and ultimately it is up to the Board to discern what
> and how much of that advice to take, not unlike a maintainer reading
> comments from other reviewers before committing a patch in modified or
> unmodified form.  And in this case, we took that advice (which was not
> unanimous), accepted a change we considered to be an improvement in
> clarity but not a change in substance, and approved the license.
>
> I look forward to getting our minutes published and I look forward to
> answering any other questions anybody on this list may have for me,
> either in public email or privately.  This situation is not the
> Board's preferred way to do things, but the Board does prefer to do
> things it considers responsible compared to doing nothing because it
> lacks any confidence whatsoever in its own ability to act responsibly.
> In this circumstance we felt it better to act than to wait (or, more
> accurately, more harmful to wait than to act).
>
> Some of you have already expressed your strong disagreement with our
> decision, and you, too, are entitled to your opinion.  But know this:
> the board does value your opinion, and we hope that you will continue
> to provide it, both when you agree and when you disagree with our
> policies, procedures, and decisions.  And the board takes very
> seriously its responsibility for serving the communities of
> developers, users, and other stakeholders who want to see more people
> benefiting from more open source software, software that fulfills the
> promise of the OSD.
>
> The next OSI Board meeting is scheduled for August 11th, and it will
> likely be at 11AM EDT (8AM PDT).  If you would like to attend (by
> conference call), send me an email and I'll work out how to get you
> dialed in.  If you'd like to address the board, I'll create time on
> the schedule for that.
>
> M
>



-- 
--
Ross Mayfield
CEO & Co-founder
Socialtext
1-877-GET-WIKI, ext. 209
655 High St. Palo Alto, CA 94301
ross.mayfield@socialtext.com
skype:rossmayfield
company: http://www.socialtext.com
blog: http://ross.typepad.com
this email is: [ ] bloggable [ x ] ask first [ ] private


Wanted the close the loop and thank license-discuss and OSI for the approval of the Common Public Attribution License.  Now that we have Socialtext has followed the process, we are adopting CPAL and are OSI-Certified and genuinely Open Source.  If our license wasn't approved, we would have selected an OSI-Certified license less optimal for our products.  And since it was, other products can choose this path, and my hope is CPAL will grow our community.

Dan Bricklin has written a great guide for those considering adopting CPAL for their own projects:

https://www.socialtext.net/open/index.cgi?how_to_apply_the_cpal_to_your_product

Again, thank you to those who participated in the process.  Even though we might not have agreed, I am pleased with the outcome of the text and know most of you are.  I look forward to contributing to future discussions.

Ross

On 7/30/07, Michael Tiemann <tiemann@opensource.org> wrote:
I have no idea why this never made it to the reflector.  I'll try sending again.

M

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Michael Tiemann <tiemann@opensource.org >
Date: Jul 27, 2007 1:43 AM
Subject: OSI approves CPAL at OSCON 2007
To: license-discuss@opensource.org


I wish that Russ Nelson or I would have been the first to be able to
report the results of the board meetings held at OSCON this week.  The
schedule of our activities was posted on our wiki, but that schedule
did not necessarily tell the whole story of our busy time in Portland.
Between the 6 hour work session Sunday, the 10+ hour board meeting
Monday, programming and presentations Tue-Thu, the hour-long BOF on
Tuesday, the 2+ hour BOF on Wednesday night, and 16+ hours of booth
duty (usually attended by at least 2 OSI board members, and which
helped the OSI raise approximately $4000 from approximately 200
conference attendees), there has been a lot to juggle.  Not to mention
the challenge of coordinating 8 different board members staying in 8
different hotels, working for 8 different companies, each of which are
demanding lots of attention when we're not attending OSI-related
meetings.  I now have time to write this email because OSCON 2007 is
over for me, and I have a few hours before I need to wake up and catch
an early morning flight to my next destination.

In Monday's board meeting the topic of whether to approve the CPAL was
considered.   We took the advice of the License Approval Chair, which
was to approve the CPAL.  We know that there was not 100% consensus
among those who subscribe to license-discuss, but we felt that there
was reasonable consensus that the safe harbor of the license was
sufficiently broad to meet the requirements of the OSD and therefore
approve the license.  Whereas there was significant and broad
consensus *against* the predecessor version, the response by many to
the current version was a stark contrast that we read as general
acceptance.  In the course of taking that recommendation, which I
agreed with, I observed what I considered to be a mismatch between the
text of the license and the intentions discussed, debated, and before
us to approve.

I suggested that it would be better to correct the error in the
license as long as such correction did not in any way affect the
substance of the discussion of that license.  If the error had in any
way violated the OSD, I would have sent the license back to the review
process, as I did when the SimPL license was (erroneously) submitted
with incorrect text.  But this error related to a potential for
confusion where none need exist, in a license whose terms were
otherwise recommended for approval.  I thought it better to make a
change and approve a license with less potential for confusion than to
approve the license and deal later with the confusion, or force yet
another delay on an already long-delayed process simply to recount
votes that had already been cast.  The board discussed this and
agreed.

In the middle of all this, I was lobbied by a third party attending
OSCON to make additional changes that would have altered the substance
of the license, I said "no, we're not going to consider changing the
conditions of the bargain--we're only going to consider corrections to
the text to reflect the bargain that was discussed."  I further
explained that if the person's proposed change was not enough to
change consensus on license-discuss (to which he had posted his
suggestion to no avail), private lobbying wasn't going to get me to
suggest a private amendment to the licenseas a requirement for
approval.  The community had been consulted, and its stance on that
issue as well as the overall substance, which was not a unanimous
stance, was clear.

If the board were more efficient in conducting its business, perhaps
we would have time to check and re-check every submission while still
providing tolerable turn-around.  The board certainly values the
advice that the License Approval Committee provides to us--it is
advice we take very seriously and it is advice that helps us greatly
to define and communicate our statements about the licenses submitted
to us.  Even when a license is clearly OSD-compliant or clearly not
OSD-compliant, we are happy that there are "many eyes" reading along
with us, making the work both easier and more certain.  But it is an
advisory role, and ultimately it is up to the Board to discern what
and how much of that advice to take, not unlike a maintainer reading
comments from other reviewers before committing a patch in modified or
unmodified form.  And in this case, we took that advice (which was not
unanimous), accepted a change we considered to be an improvement in
clarity but not a change in substance, and approved the license.

I look forward to getting our minutes published and I look forward to
answering any other questions anybody on this list may have for me,
either in public email or privately.  This situation is not the
Board's preferred way to do things, but the Board does prefer to do
things it considers responsible compared to doing nothing because it
lacks any confidence whatsoever in its own ability to act responsibly.
In this circumstance we felt it better to act than to wait (or, more
accurately, more harmful to wait than to act).

Some of you have already expressed your strong disagreement with our
decision, and you, too, are entitled to your opinion.  But know this:
the board does value your opinion, and we hope that you will continue
to provide it, both when you agree and when you disagree with our
policies, procedures, and decisions.  And the board takes very
seriously its responsibility for serving the communities of
developers, users, and other stakeholders who want to see more people
benefiting from more open source software, software that fulfills the
promise of the OSD.

The next OSI Board meeting is scheduled for August 11th, and it will
likely be at 11AM EDT (8AM PDT).  If you would like to attend (by
conference call), send me an email and I'll work out how to get you
dialed in.  If you'd like to address the board, I'll create time on
the schedule for that.

M



--
--
Ross Mayfield
CEO & Co-founder
Socialtext
1-877-GET-WIKI, ext. 209
655 High St. Palo Alto, CA 94301
ross.mayfield@socialtext.com
skype:rossmayfield
company: http://www.socialtext.com
blog: http://ross.typepad.com
this email is: [ ] bloggable [ x ] ask first [ ] private