Subject: Re: For Approval: Microsoft Permissive License
From: "Michael Tiemann" <tiemann@opensource.org>
Date: Tue, 25 Sep 2007 22:36:55 -0400
Tue, 25 Sep 2007 22:36:55 -0400
On 9/25/07, Jon Rosenberg (PBM) <jonr@microsoft.com> wrote:
>
> The past 6 weeks have been a tremendous learning experience for Microsoft.
> The community has been passionate and insightful in its response to our
> submission of the MS-Community and MS-Permissive Licenses. We saw new
> perspectives on some of the issues that came up for us as we were drafting
> these licenses and we heard some brand new issues as well. The community
> comments on our license approval submission numbered over 400. That's an
> important number for us. We read every mail. We weighed every point. We
> thought hard about the issues that you raised. I want to thank you for being
> supportive, challenging and vocal. We submitted these licenses for approval
> in the belief that they comply with the ten criteria of the Open Source
> Definition and the strong response from the community indicates that they
> do.
>
> One of the more controversial points that has been raised during the
> course of this discussion is the need for clarity. You've told us loud and
> clear that you want more clarity around our usage of the submitted licenses
> and more clarity around what is Open Source and what is Shared Source. This
> is completely reasonable. To that end, we commit to making changes to our
> Open Source and Shared Source web sites that will greatly reduce any
> confusion between Microsoft's various licensing programs and our use of Open
> Source licenses. We'll also commit to publishing a summary of those changes
> to the alias for feedback before publishing to the web.
>
> We also heard varying points of view about the name of the license and
> some of the clauses in the license itself.  Today, we will also commit to
> involve the community in any future redrafting or renaming of these
> licenses. If in the future, we modify these licenses, we will engage in a
> conversation with the community through the license-discuss alias as part of
> the modification process rather than simply requesting approval after the
> fact.
>
> We look forward to the licensing committee's decision on these licenses
> and appreciate the contribution that this process has made to our thinking,
> regardless of the outcome.


John, thanks for inserting a meaningful checkpoint into the process.  Here
are the steps needed to appove a license:

1.  The license committee chair, Russ Nelson, usually summarizes all the
licensing discussions as input to each board meeting.  I will ask him
specifically to prepare a report on what he believes the consensus and key
points of contention are for your license submissions.

2.  Russ will post that information to license-discuss, and also send a copy
to the board.

3.  The Board then discusses and votes on the recommendation of the chair
and reports its vote to the list.

4.  If the licenses are approved, we update relevant pages on our website.

In the general case, we have situations where either there is not enough
discussion to represent a strong consensus, or there is a polarized
discussion that represents a split consensus.  Usually in those cases we
either encourage more discussion or we make suggestions to the license
submitter about how to help their cause (if we have any ideas about how to
do so).  This has the effect of lengthening the license review cycle, but
also can have the effect of ultimately approving more licenses.

If I read your email correctly, you are saying "it is what it is--give us an
up-or-down vote at your earliest convenience".  And because you talk about
possible future redrafting, it sounds to me that if we do find cause to
reject the licenses, you are open to remedying the flaws and resubmitting
(either under the same name or under a different name).  Thus, you are
interested in having the OSI lead the process by making rulings and letting
you craft remedies rather than discussing until a common positive consensus
is reached.  It is not the way we have done things in the past, but I am
open to considering such a procedure.  I am asking this question publicly
because I want not only your affirmation that I understand you correctly,
but also to ask those on license-discuss what they think about doing things
this way, either in the general case or in this particular case.

M




On 9/25/07, Jon Rosenberg (PBM) <jonr@microsoft.com> wrote:
The past 6 weeks have been a tremendous learning experience for Microsoft. The community has been passionate and insightful in its response to our submission of the MS-Community and MS-Permissive Licenses. We saw new perspectives on some of the issues that came up for us as we were drafting these licenses and we heard some brand new issues as well. The community comments on our license approval submission numbered over 400. That's an important number for us. We read every mail. We weighed every point. We thought hard about the issues that you raised. I want to thank you for being supportive, challenging and vocal. We submitted these licenses for approval in the belief that they comply with the ten criteria of the Open Source Definition and the strong response from the community indicates that they do.

One of the more controversial points that has been raised during the course of this discussion is the need for clarity. You've told us loud and clear that you want more clarity around our usage of the submitted licenses and more clarity around what is Open Source and what is Shared Source. This is completely reasonable. To that end, we commit to making changes to our Open Source and Shared Source web sites that will greatly reduce any confusion between Microsoft's various licensing programs and our use of Open Source licenses. We'll also commit to publishing a summary of those changes to the alias for feedback before publishing to the web.

We also heard varying points of view about the name of the license and some of the clauses in the license itself.  Today, we will also commit to involve the community in any future redrafting or renaming of these licenses. If in the future, we modify these licenses, we will engage in a conversation with the community through the license-discuss alias as part of the modification process rather than simply requesting approval after the fact.

We look forward to the licensing committee's decision on these licenses and appreciate the contribution that this process has made to our thinking, regardless of the outcome.

John, thanks for inserting a meaningful checkpoint into the process.  Here are the steps needed to appove a license:

1.  The license committee chair, Russ Nelson, usually summarizes all the licensing discussions as input to each board meeting.  I will ask him specifically to prepare a report on what he believes the consensus and key points of contention are for your license submissions.

2.  Russ will post that information to license-discuss, and also send a copy to the board.

3.  The Board then discusses and votes on the recommendation of the chair and reports its vote to the list.

4.  If the licenses are approved, we update relevant pages on our website.

In the general case, we have situations where either there is not enough discussion to represent a strong consensus, or there is a polarized discussion that represents a split consensus.  Usually in those cases we either encourage more discussion or we make suggestions to the license submitter about how to help their cause (if we have any ideas about how to do so).  This has the effect of lengthening the license review cycle, but also can have the effect of ultimately approving more licenses.

If I read your email correctly, you are saying "it is what it is--give us an up-or-down vote at your earliest convenience".  And because you talk about possible future redrafting, it sounds to me that if we do find cause to reject the licenses, you are open to remedying the flaws and resubmitting (either under the same name or under a different name).  Thus, you are interested in having the OSI lead the process by making rulings and letting you craft remedies rather than discussing until a common positive consensus is reached.  It is not the way we have done things in the past, but I am open to considering such a procedure.  I am asking this question publicly because I want not only your affirmation that I understand you correctly, but also to ask those on license-discuss what they think about doing things this way, either in the general case or in this particular case.

M