Subject: Re: Inappropriate postings from non-lawyers
From: Ian Lance Taylor <ian@airs.com>
Date: 13 Feb 2004 15:33:09 -0500

Richard Schilling <rschi@rsmba.biz> writes:

> I would like to see the opensource.org criteria clarified on the web
> pages.  It would help clear up some confusion.  I suggested a few
> changes in an earlier post.

The criteria are here:
    http://opensource.org/docs/definition.php
If you want to suggest changes, I suggest that you make them in
reference to that list.

All that I saw you post was a brief list of points, some of which are
already covered by the OSD, none of which were explained in any
detail.

> I too, want to see opensource.org accomodate the general public
> . . . but it would be nice to see an effort by the list participants
> to keep the discussion related to legal licensing issues and not moral
> implications for the free world.

OSI is specifically dedicated to working for ``the good of the
community.''  The moral implications of open source licenses are not
out of place, because they are aspects of the good of the community.

> If us non-lawyers defer to lawyers and listen more we may have more
> lawyers providing constructive input.

That statement would be more convincing if you hadn't jumped all over
Lawrence Rosen, who is in fact a lawyer.

> Obviously, people are arguing that the GPL is invalid and providing
> some detailed analysis.  I hope opensource.org pays attention to that
> and gets self-critical about their criteria really quick.  At present,
> they are endorsing licenses that don't mean anything in front of a
> judge.  They're nice public statements and rhetoric, but not much else
> at times.

The arguments that the GPL is invalid are totally bogus.  Using those
arguments to suggest that the OSI needs to be more self-critical about
their criteria makes no sense.

Also, note that most of the OSI approved licenses were in fact written
with the benefit of legal advice, including the GPL.

Ian
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