Subject: RE: BSD-like licenses and the OSI approval process
From: "Lawrence Rosen" <>
Date: Tue, 16 Oct 2007 16:12:24 -0700

Donovan Hawkins asked:
> Why would he want to switch to an unpopular
> license that the OSI lists as redundant?

OSL is the 11th most commonly used open source license in open source
projects in the world. AFL is the 12th. (The Non-Profit OSL is too new to
show up in the list of the most commonly used 20 licenses.) I'm proud of
those statistics.

OSI lists AFL as redundant on their website because the self-appointed
committee that established categories didn't fully understand the legal
implications of the licenses they were evaluating, and they also didn't
understand how to solve the license proliferation problem they were
chartered to address. For example, they included the CDDL among "popular"
licenses because one of its authors was on the OSI committee, but CDDL
doesn't even show up on the list of the 20 most commonly used licenses. OSI
listed the Eclipse license as "popular", but it is number 14 on the list of
20 most commonly used licenses, below both AFL and OSL. 

Michael Tiemann and Russ Nelson both promised me privately that the OSI
board will address this categorization problem, but as with so many other
issues, they haven't yet.


P.S. I will provide a link to the data upon which this email is based after
I receive permission. The report is not yet published.