Subject: RE: public? Re: Call for Votes: New OSI-Editors List
From: "Lawrence Rosen" <>
Date: Tue, 27 Nov 2007 18:42:39 -0800

Zak Greant asked:
> I am curious as to what you thought that you were signing up for?

You'll note that I responded late, waiting to see if perhaps there would be
enough people agreeing to be editors and to see how the job would be defined
to suit these people's skills and expertise. When I saw others agreeing to
serve, I wanted to join them because I respect those individuals and their
opinions (even when I sometimes disagree with them). But now that I better
understand the editors' job, I don't want to do it and--as I said in my
previous email--I believe you are underutilizing the other editors who have
already agreed to serve in this role.

I thought at the time that the editors would be helping to identify and
summarize legal issues that often get confused and argued about
ineffectually on license-discuss. But that now is turned into a triage role,
reading and capturing whatever nonsense or intelligence is spouted on
license-discuss into a set of "issues" in a "database." 

As in the past, when I find the topics interesting I'm happy to comment on
legal issues raised by others, but I'm not happy to be the database clerk
that captures and triages the issues into that database. Like an ER doctor,
I'd rather be treating patients than sitting in the little cubicle next to
the waiting room deciding who has a cold and who has pneumonia. That's not
at all to disparage the important role played by the triage nurse, but the
experts you've selected to be editors are more valuable in the operating

How about nominating non-experts to be the triage database editors? Let them
earn their credibility and open source stripes by doing that job well. We
ought to be able to identify people who are on license-discuss and who enjoy
reading (and sending) lots of email to the list. Perhaps a few of them will
offer to be editors, to capture the essences of the issues posed on
license-discuss. They can capture those issues into a database that the
experts can comment on.


> -----Original Message-----
> From: [] On Behalf Of Zak
> Greant
> Sent: Tuesday, November 27, 2007 2:30 PM
> To: License Discuss
> Subject: Re: public? Re: Call for Votes: New OSI-Editors List
> Hi Larry, Greetings All,
> On 11/27/07, Lawrence Rosen <> wrote:
> > Zak Greant wrote:
> > > It is primarily an administrative, ombuds and service role - rather
> > > than making policy, editors focus on helping good and representative
> > > policy to be made.
> >
> > Given this definition of the role, I withdraw my agreement to serve. I
> do
> > not have time to perform an administrative function that OSI cannot fund
> > directly by its Board doing necessary fundraising.
> I am curious as to what you thought that you were signing up for?
> > > In their role as editors, editors do not raise issues or give input on
> > > the issues. If an editor has an issue to raise or input to give as an
> > > individual, then they may not act as an editor for the relevant issue.
> >
> > Particularly if an editor does not actually provide input on issues,
> then
> > the experts you have already recruited seem ill-suited for this more
> limited
> > editorial role. I now vote -1 to all of them, considering that we will
> waste
> > their talents in this way. I'd much rather they stay on license-discuss
> and,
> > like John Cowan and me, comment on the issues whenever they can.
> Editors can still comment on issues. Depending on how we resolve the
> definition of the role, either they will not be able to continue
> triaging an issue once they comment on it or they will need to follow
> the same processes as anyone else in order to comment.
> As for the requirement for expertise, the editors should have a solid
> understanding of the issues. Without it, they will not be able to
> properly triage issues.
> --
> Cheers!
> --zak