Cherry-picking license proposals

Lawrence E. Rosen lrosen at
Fri Jan 19 21:38:05 UTC 2001

Perhaps the OSI board should have "cherry-picked" different licenses for
review than the ones it did select.  Whenever judgment calls are made, there
is the opportunity to make them wrongly.  I can only assure you that there
has been no intention to harm any contributor.

I am attaching the list of licenses (both approved and submitted for review)
as of 11/4/2000.  I encourage the license-discuss participants to recommend
a priority for license review by the OSI board.  [I distributed earlier
versions of this list to license-discuss and never received any priority
suggestions.  Sorry, but I haven't had time to bring this list current with
more recent submissions.]

My own suggestions for prioritizing are these:

* Is the license sufficiently different from one of the licenses already
approved that we shouldn't simply encourage the submitter to use another
already-approved license?

* Does the proposed license address some useful licensing or business
concepts that can be of general application within the open source

* Is the proposed license likely to be used by a sufficiently large part of
the community that it merits priority consideration?

* Is the license well written and legally sound?

* Has the submitter described the license in license-disucss with sufficient
clarity that the community and the OSI board can understand why it is

* Has the community at large expressed its interest in the license by
responding with meaningful comments (pro or con) on license-discuss?

Of course, you may have your own suggestions and prioritizing rules.  Mine
are merely tossed into the hopper for your consideration.

One thing I ask you to consider: License review, even for what you think are
simple licenses, is not taken lightly by the *volunteer* OSI board.  The
board has to read the licenses carefully.  There is no such thing as a "slam
dunk" approval.

/Larry Rosen
Executive Director, OSI
lrosen at
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