Subject: Re: For Approval: Microsoft Permissive License
From: "Michael Tiemann" <tiemann@opensource.org>
Date: Wed, 26 Sep 2007 20:37:54 -0400
Wed, 26 Sep 2007 20:37:54 -0400
On 9/26/07, Matthew Flaschen <matthew.flaschen@gatech.edu> wrote:
>
>
> I'm talking about what they use, not what they're supposed to use.  I
> can give many examples of times OSI has been reluctant to approve an
> OSD-compliant license.  For instance, they held off on SimPL because it
> was (mistakenly) believed incompatible with GPLv2.


...and because the pretext of that license was to be "a simplified version
of the GPL for people who wanted to use a reciprocal license but were not
yet ready to comprehend the full complexity of the GPL".  I think the term
"GPL with training wheels" was the way somebody put it.  In that case, a
license whose stated goal was to be a gateway to the GPL had better be
GPL-compatible, or it's not a very good gateway.  When the confusion was
cleared up and compatibility was assured, we felt confident to approve it as
the license did do what it promised to do.

I do believe that if a license is submitted with promise X, then we should
evaluate promise X as well as the OSD.  If the only promise of the license
is "we meet the minimum terms of the OSD, and nothing more", then we should
not hold it to a higher standard.  This is my personal opinion, not a
defined board policy, but I think others use a similar evaluation function.

Relevant to this, as I said in my interview with Peter Galli, I saw no
reason to challenge the title of "The Microsoft Community License", because
whether it is a community of one or one thousand, it's perfectly reasonable
for anybody to state the aspiration of creating a community in the world of
open source.  I am very liberal when it comes to descriptions that state
aspirations (consider Tim Berners-Lee announcing "The World Wide Web"!), but
very much less so when descriptions are deceptive, such as the claim of an
open standard that, in fact, cannot be implemented or validated without
using proprietary technology.


On 9/26/07, Matthew Flaschen <matthew.flaschen@gatech.edu> wrote:

I'm talking about what they use, not what they're supposed to use.  I
can give many examples of times OSI has been reluctant to approve an
OSD-compliant license.  For instance, they held off on SimPL because it
was (mistakenly) believed incompatible with GPLv2.

...and because the pretext of that license was to be "a simplified version of the GPL for people who wanted to use a reciprocal license but were not yet ready to comprehend the full complexity of the GPL".  I think the term "GPL with training wheels" was the way somebody put it.  In that case, a license whose stated goal was to be a gateway to the GPL had better be GPL-compatible, or it's not a very good gateway.  When the confusion was cleared up and compatibility was assured, we felt confident to approve it as the license did do what it promised to do.

I do believe that if a license is submitted with promise X, then we should evaluate promise X as well as the OSD.  If the only promise of the license is "we meet the minimum terms of the OSD, and nothing more", then we should not hold it to a higher standard.  This is my personal opinion, not a defined board policy, but I think others use a similar evaluation function.

Relevant to this, as I said in my interview with Peter Galli, I saw no reason to challenge the title of "The Microsoft Community License", because whether it is a community of one or one thousand, it's perfectly reasonable for anybody to state the aspiration of creating a community in the world of open source.  I am very liberal when it comes to descriptions that state aspirations (consider Tim Berners-Lee announcing "The World Wide Web"!), but very much less so when descriptions are deceptive, such as the claim of an open standard that, in fact, cannot be implemented or validated without using proprietary technology.