License backlog - OSI is making itself irrellevant

Matthew C. Weigel weigel+ at
Fri Aug 31 16:52:31 UTC 2001

On Fri, 31 Aug 2001 nights at wrote:

> I quite agree. As a constructive suggestion, perhaps the OSI should
> consider forming volunteer focus groups, like one for each license,

You mean, rather than bitching about how hard it is for them, try to
share the load in a meaningful way?

This is what I've been bitching about for a long time - this list is
essentially ignored, both in terms of specific licenses (ever looked at
the list of approved licenses and thought "hmmm... I don't remember
that one?), and in terms of general discussion.

I've found three ways to get someone from the OSI respond: provide
specific suggestions on the website, and the webmaster will respond;
make specific legal claims, and Larry will respond; or get in a huff
and Russ will flame you.  General discussion, pointedly asking the OSI
for a response, etc. is insufficient.

> to examine each license in as detailed a manner possible and to
> report to the OSI board for final decision?

I think it comes down to control.  It looks to me like, at this point,
Larry Rosen is making all of the decisions about approvals, because
he's best qualified to do so.  Well, the people on the list can muddle
their way through a license pretty OK, excepting specific legal issues,
and the list can *certainly* devote more time to it than he himself
can (10 volunteers vs. 1 volunteer).  The OSD is not perfect, the
licenses themselves are not bulletproof, having a real lawyer handle
the decisions about which licenses meet the OSD doesn't do us any good.
 Matthew Weigel
 Research Systems Programmer
 mcweigel at ne weigel at

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