Subject: Re: For Approval: Microsoft Permissive License
From: Ian Lance Taylor <ian@airs.com>
Date: 20 Aug 2007 10:27:48 -0700

Chris Travers <chris@metatrontech.com> writes:

> Well put.  I would add that I think the OSI should turn down any
> licenses from any submitters (FSF, Microsoft, or otherwise) if there
> are unanswered valid concerns about how well it meets the OSD.  But I
> think approval discussion should be limited to the scope of the
> license though polite requests may be broader.

This comes back to an old question on this list: is the OSI simply
responsible for mechanically approving licenses?  Or is the OSI
responsible for, as it says on the web site, "maintaining the Open
Source Definition for the good of the community"?  In my opinion,
which I acknowledge is not widely held, the good of the community does
not require approving every applicable license.

That said, I personally would be in favor of approving the Microsoft
licenses.  I think it is overall a benefit to the community to
acknowledge that code under these licenses is open source.

Of course, it also means that we need to apply extra vigilance to
ensure that Microsoft does not attempt to use this certification to
further confuse end-users with their non-open-source licenses.  I
don't think is as big of a risk as it used to be, as it seems to me
that most people tend to distrust Microsoft these days (for a long
time hackers distrusted Microsoft, but the general public liked them).

Ian