Subject: RE: License List -- as of 9-11-00
From: "Matthew C. Weigel" <>
Date: Fri, 01 Jun 2001 22:07:46 -0400 (EDT)

I support the OSI encouraging people to use established licenses, both
because as a member of the community I want them to do that, and
because as an independant observer I expect them to represent that

However, my criticism is that they are, specifically, adding to the
confusion, because the list of approved licenses is not kept accurate. 
No one *knew* that the OSI had not approved the APSL, and they assumed
that it had been approved because that was the consensus of this list
(check the archives, there's even a message to that effect: 
They also made quite clear in their press release
( that
the APSL was acceptable.  That a later version (which was widely
considered to be much more in line with the open source vision) was
quietly *not* approved adds even more confusion.

As I said, the things that would adequately address this is for the
list to be kept up to date at all times, so that people can
*see* whether a license they thought should be approved was approved.

On Fri, 1 Jun 2001, Rod Dixon, J.D., LL.M. wrote:

> To offer a slightly different perspective, I think it might be
> important to recall that OSI strongly encourages the use of approved
> licenses. The proliferation of widely divergent open source licenses
> might create as much confusion in (or about) the open source
> community as misinformed journalists. I would be reluctant to
> criticize OSI for not adding to this confusion. As folks consider
> submitting a growing list of licenses for approval, they might do
> better to evaluate what they want to accomplish by issuing their
> particular license, then consider whether a license on the approved
> list meets those needs (...chances are the answer is yes).
> Rod Dixon
> Visiting Assistant Professor of Law
> Rutgers University Law School - Camden
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Matthew C. Weigel []
> > Sent: Friday, June 01, 2001 8:41 PM
> > To:
> > Subject: Re: License List -- as of 9-11-00
> >
> >
> > On Fri, 1 Jun 2001, John Cowan wrote:
> >
> > > Speaking only for myself, I think it unlikely that it was rejected.
> > > The OSI board is a group of overworked volunteers (sound familiar?) and
> > > things do get dropped on the floor from time to time.
> >
> > They are a group of overworked volunteers who claim to represent the
> > wider open source community.  In addition to 'dropping things on the
> > floor,' they also occasionally make calls contrary to the stated
> > opinions of the wider open source community - and when they do so, they
> > do so quietly so that no one notices.
> >
> > After the on-going confusion as to the OSI Certified(sm) nature of
> > Darwin (and the qualifying nature of the APSL 1.2), which resulted in a
> > misinformed journalist lambasting Apple for not acting in good faith in
> > proclaiming Darwin as open source, I think it is necessary to do two
> > things: stick to the lists published on as 'OSI
> > Certified,' and light a fire under the hiney of whoever's
> > responsibility it is to update that list.
> >
> > At this point, there are two kinds of licenses not included - licenses
> > that someone hasn't 'gotten to,' and licenses which don't qualify.  As
> > long as there is such confusion, the OSI can avoid discussing its
> > decisions to exclude licenses (because they might be on the todo list),
> > and the wider open source community can be misled.
> > --
> >  Matthew Weigel
> >  Research Systems Programmer
> >
> >
> >

 Matthew Weigel
 Research Systems Programmer