Backlog assistance?

Alex Stewart alex at
Sun Sep 23 01:44:13 UTC 2001

David Johnson wrote:

> A far better solution would be to encourage "template" licenses, and work 
> towards converting existing licenses into templates. The BSD license is a 
> good example of a simple one.

I tend to agree with this.  The Apache license is another example (I 
note it primarily because there's already two different licenses (Apache 
and Vovida) listed in the OSI certified list which appear to be 
word-for-word identical except for the names.  I think it might also be 
a really useful tactic to say something along the lines of:

Here are OSI certified templates.  If you create a license by sticking 
your name/information/etc into the appropriate fields of this license 
without modifying anything else, it will be automatically certified 
within (whatever the minimum reasonable turnaround is (preferably a week 
or two) and stuck in the list.  If you do your own thing, it could take 
months (or longer) to get it certified.

Seems to me that by itself might encourage people to look a lot harder 
at the templates before deciding to submit their own.  Right now there's 
no indication that there's any real advantage (or "fast track") to not 
rolling one's own.

> In my seldom humble opinion, the existing license set encompasses the 
> complete Open Source domain. There may be a few bare spots here and there, 
> but by and large if you need a certain set of permissions and restrictions, 
> an existing license will do.

Excuse me, but I strongly disagree with this, speaking as somebody who's 
just gone through a fair amount of work (which I would happily have 
avoided if possible) to create my own license specifically because none 
of the other OSI licenses come very close to supporting the set of 
features I want (and yes, my license is fully OSD compliant).  The 
existing license set encompasses the complete _conventional_ Open Source 
domain, but frankly the reason most licenses are derivative is because 
most people aren't being very creative.  I worked very hard and looked 
everywhere I could to find a license that said what I wanted and it 
ain't there, so I finally gave up and spent the effort to make it.  I 
might even submit it to the OSI if I can convince myself that anybody in 
this dessicated venue will even bother to consider looking at it..

Or maybe I won't bother.  I like the concept of the OSI and what they're 
ostensibly doing, and I'd even like to help, but when it comes right 
down to it, it's not like OSI certification is actually _useful_ for 


license-discuss archive is at

More information about the License-discuss mailing list