Article on open-source licenses (and the OSI)

Steve Mallett steve at
Tue Oct 30 12:10:11 UTC 2001

On Tuesday 30 October 2001 05:54, you wrote:
> A very good sum up of the current (blurry) situation on licenses.
> (especially for developpers getting lost)
> --
> license-discuss archive is at

In good natured sarcasm, and speaking for myself......

This looks complicated to those who are too close to the situation.  There 
are a million points of controversy or confusion to anything that's picked 
apart.  Frankly, John Doe developer would have to be a glutton for punishment 
to even bother considering licensing their work under most of the approved 
licenses.  And then he's asking for it.

The license page does point out the "classic" licenses most commonly used for 
open-source software".  How much of a clue do you have to buy someone?

Just because a license has been given the nod as meeting the OSD doesn't mean 
that it _has to be_ considered for your particular work.  It does mean IMHO:

1) go ahead and stick 'OSI Certified' on it,
2) I can see some program's funky license & check it against the list & know 
that whatever legalese is in there that it meets the OSD.

C'mon, how many programs are going to go outside the top 6-7 licenses anyway? 
If more do then there will be more conversation on them & everyone's 
understanding goes up on the finer points of that license.

Perhaps there should be an Open Source Top 5 chart?  8^)

Putting the pain in "pain in the ass" since.....,
Steve Mallett | Stable, Open-Source Apps 
steve at | 
webmaster at   <GPG, Voice, etc.>

"Non-cooperation with evil is as much a duty as cooperation with good."
        -- Mohandas Gandhi

license-discuss archive is at

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