OSI Certification ``levels'' (was Re: menu license)

Ben Bell bjb at deus.net
Thu Apr 15 07:39:17 UTC 1999

On Thu, Apr 15, 1999 at 12:11:23AM -0500, Gregory Martin Pfeil wrote:
> Here's my take:
> Have a few complete licenses set up -- like OSI-restrictive,
> OSI-public, and OSI-open, each one being progressively more open.
Something I've been wondering about for a while is whether there should be
``levels'' of Open Source compliance. So that a company that wanted to move
to a more OS style model for a product but wasn't sure about going all the
way with the licence in the first step (eg APSL v1) could get a "pat on the
back" from the OS community but still keeping clear that it is not completely
OSD compliant, and that they have a way to go.
So licences like the GPL would be OSI-Open, the APSL OSI-somethingelse and
Windows 2000 Open Source (if it happens as M$ describe) OSI-noncompliant,
OSI-contravening or just OSI-plainevil ;)
The exact levels and terms would need to be thought out carefully so as to
avoid the problems with eg free and Free or Open Source and "It is open, you
just have to pay a membership fee".

I suppose an argument against this is that some companies may be satisfied
with OSI-public (or whatever) rather than being completely OSD compliant,
but if we made it clear that OSD was the software licence nirvana, then it
might instead mean that companies that didn't want to make one big step
could take smaller steps and still have guidance from the OSI.


+-----Ben Bell - "A song, a perl script and the occasional silly sig.-----+
  ///      email: bjb at deus.net            www: http://www.deus.net/~bjb/
  bjb         Snail: 20 Guildford Road West, Farnborough, GU14 6PU
  \_/        "Open Source - It's easier to create than to destroy."

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