Subject: Re: OSI Approval process
From: Chuck Swiger <>
Date: Mon, 17 Sep 2007 11:35:01 -0700

Hi, Daniel--

On Sep 17, 2007, at 10:27 AM, Daniel Corbe wrote:
> Is there a way for the average layman to submit a license to the  
> OSI for approval?

Sure-- the approval process works the same, although I hope that an  
existing license might suit your needs better than creating and  
approving a one-off license just for an individual.

> I've been following the debate between the OpenBSD community and  
> SFLC/Linux community for some time now and I've come to the  
> following conclusions:
> 1) The BSD license isn't clear on intent when it comes to sublicensing

True: it doesn't mention sublicensing at all.

> 2) The main objection seems to be that sublicensing BSD code to a  
> GPLed project produces a one way stream of contributions
> 3) There's not a solution for this issue.

I think that people who make trivial changes to code under any given  
license should choose to release those changes under the same terms  
of the original license.

However, if people make significant changes to code and wish to  
release the derivative work under another compatible license (as is  
the case with some of the so-called "GPL'ing of BSD-licensed code"),  
well, the BSD projects can live with that just as we live with people  
using BSD code in wholly proprietary projects, but it's not a  
preferred situation.

> I've elected to go with the MIT license over the BSD license for  
> some of my projects because it clearly states the intent on  
> sublicensing in the first paragraph

The MIT license is a fine choice if you want a bit more clarity about  
sublicensing, agreed.

[ ... ]
> I want the code to remain open, and I want the intent of the  
> license to reflect free and unrestricted distribution of my code  
> (which includes incorporation into commercial offerings).  This  
> rules out the GPL as it violates the spirit of my intentions.
> I want something
> A) Less permissive than the MIT/BSD license
> B) Something that is certainly a great deal clearer than the BSD  
> license
> C) Something more permissive than the GPL.
> In that case I'm very tempted to author my own license.  I will (of  
> course) retain counsel to advise on how legally sound it is, but I  
> also want to make sure the license is OSI compliant and I'm willing  
> to work towards that.

"less permissive" how?  Without that information, it's not easy to  
suggest an existing license which you might use.  I suppose we can  
wait until you've submitted a license for review, assuming you get  
that far....