Subject: Re: Help with license decision for "cluster" of similar projects
From: Rick Moen <>
Date: Fri, 5 Mar 2004 11:04:56 -0800

Quoting Alex Rousskov (

> ... Or the undocumented(?) charter of this list can be expanded. Or
> any off-topic posts should be moderated out.

1.  The list isn't moderated.  I'm sure Rusl and others have better
things to do, so they trust to people to behave themselves.

2.  The list's charter is implied fairly clearly by the language on :

Getting a License Approved

o Prepare an email with three sections as described in the next three
  paragraphs. Send that email to the license-discuss mailing list
  (license-discuss at our domain name, The subject of
  your message should be "For Approval:" followed by the name of your

    o Tell us which existing OSI-approved license is most similar to
      your license. Explain why that license will not suffice for your
      needs. If your proposed license is derived from a license we have
      already approved, describe exactly what you have changed. This
      document is not part of the license; it is solely to help the
      license-discuss understand and review your license.
    o Explain how software distributed under your license can be used in
      conjunction with software distributed under other open source
      licenses. Which license do you think will take precedence for
      derivative or combined works? Is there any software license that
      is entirely incompatible with your proposed license?.
    o Include the plain text version of your license at the end of the
      email, either as an insertion or as an attachment. 

o You are invited to follow discussion of the licenses by subscribing to This mailing-list is
  archived here.
o If license-discuss mailing list members find that the license does not
  conform to the Open Source Definition, they will work with you to
  resolve the problems. Similarly, if we see a problem, we will work
  with you to resolve any problems uncovered in public comment.
o As part of this process, we may also seek outside legal advice on
  license issues.
o Once we are assured that the license conforms to the Open Source
  Definition and has received thorough discussion on license-discuss or
  by other reviewers, and there are no remaining issues that we judge
  significant, we will notify you that the license has been approved,
  copy it to our website, and add it to the list below.

Although it would be nice to have a list-information Web page with more
information than has [1], absent
that, the membership are glad to remind people of the charter whenever
off-topic threads become too (1) voluminous, (2) heated, (3) obnoxious, 
and or (4) un-amusing -- exactly as with other unmoderated on-line

So, when the list regulars (or, a-fortiori, Russ the listadmin) suggest
that people cool it with the off-topic digressions, please heed them, OK?

There _are_ a number of other places to discuss licensing without
specific connection to OSI approval -- e.g., debian-legal and the Free
Software Business mailing list come to mind.  If none of those turn out
to be suitable, I can recommend some software to start a new mailing
list that is -- all of it open source.  ;->

[1] That page's link to "eFAQ" is a mailto link that _should_ send back
a FAQ for this mailing list.  Apparently one hasn't yet been written
(see below).  An opportunity, perhaps?

 Subject: failure notice

 Hi. This is the qmail-send program at
 I'm afraid I wasn't able to deliver your message to the following
 This is a permanent error; I've given up. Sorry it didn't work out.

 ezmlm-manage: fatal: unable to open text/faq: file does not exist

Cheers,                   The cynics among us might say:   "We laugh, 
Rick Moen                 monkeyboys -- Linux IS the mainstream UNIX now!       MuaHaHaHa!" but that would be rude. -- Jim Dennis
license-discuss archive is at