Cherry-picking license proposals

Lou Grinzo lgrinzo at
Sun Jan 21 04:03:56 UTC 2001

>From Lawrence E. Rosen:

>> 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?

With all due and considerable respect to Lawrence and the rest of the OSI,
this is not a criteria for prioritizing the list.  It's a statement that it
might be better to discourage similar licenses.  I disagree strongly.

If you want to say that similar licenses are lower priority for approval,
that's one thing, and a defensible stance (which I disagree with it,

But once OSI starts recommending that people change their plans and use
another license, I feel they're crossing a line, akin to the FDA in the US
telling drug companies which drugs to pursue researching based on the number
of similar treatments already available for some diseases, instead of simply
approving or rejecting submitted drugs for general use.

And no, I'm not naïve enough to think that if OSI deems a license to be only
trivially different from an already approved one that there's anything to
stop them from never getting around to it.  But I would expect and hope that
the OSI would be more even-handed than that.

Again, I'm saying all this with a great deal of respect for the work the OSI
is doing.  The bottom line is that I think the OSI should leave the very
complex issue of selecting a software license to the entity that holds the
copyright to the material, unless specifically asked for advice.

Take care,
Lou Grinzo

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