Subject: RE: OSD#5 needs a patch?
From: "Lawrence E. Rosen" <>
Date: Thu, 9 Oct 2003 10:20:18 -0700

Chuck Swiger wrote:
> Someone recently made a comment that the GPL will always be 
> an OSD-approved 
> license regardless of what the actual definitions are; if 
> true, what does this 
> imply if there exists privileged licenses that are not being 
> evaluated on 
> their merits against the OSD definitions as they are written?

Actually, what I intended to convey was the notion that the OSD has always
been consistent with the GPL in the past, and we would not want to change
the OSD in such a way that it invalidated the GPL.  That doesn't make the
GPL a privileged license, although you would have to acknowledge that a
license that applies to the vast majority of open source software is
privileged in some way.  :-)

> What happens if a proposed license is compliant with the OSD, 
> yet conflicts 
> with the GPL?  Would it be accurate to say that a fair number 
> of people 
> criticised Sean not on the merits of his license vis-a-vis 
> the OSD, but for it 
> being "anti-GPL"?  The OSD as written today is largely 
> license-neutral, and it 
> concerns me when people want to change the OSD to prefer some 
> licenses over 
> others.

You're right.  Some of the criticism directed to Sean was perhaps unfair.
That extended discussion, animated and confrontational though it might have
become, brought the confusing definition of "discrimination" to our
attention.  That is exactly why we are discussing this problem now.  If
Sean's license, and the GPL, are not discriminatory, then let's define
things in such a way that we're clear about it.  And if they *are*
discriminatory, then let's define things in such a way that such forms of
discrimination are OSD-compliant.

/Larry Rosen

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