license name arrogance Re: Academic Free License

Rod Dixon rod at
Thu Aug 22 11:24:58 UTC 2002

 I agree with Reese's response to the original post about Larry.  I think
that post was particularly ill-mannered. Larry's intent was entirely
misunderstood by the poster. The service that Larry is providing is
generous, not "grandiose." He is drafting software license templates, which
necessarily are not attached to specific projects.  In addition, Larry is
using names that are general and clear enough so that those who may benefit
from the template are aided in their selection of the appropriate license
template to use for adoption of their own license.  Lastly, it should go
without saying on this list, but I'll say so anyway; lawyers who do work in
software licensing (many of whom are primarily lawyers specializing in
Intellectual Property) do not come cheap, and their services are in high
demand these days. Hence, it is actually an understatement to say that the
services Larry is providing ought to be appreciated. Occasionally, I am
taken aback to see what appears to be reflexive attacks on lawyers on this


Rod Dixon
Visiting Assistant Professor of Law
Rutgers University Law School - Camden
rod at
Cyberspaces: Words-Not-Deeds:

----- Original Message ----- > The other licenses were created for specific
projects. The AFL and
> OSL are not, so I think that it is perfectly fine to give them
> generic names (and yes, they are superior in some way.)
> > OSI should encourage specific license names unless a
> > license is a product of wide community consent. Just a
> > suggestion.
> How can a license gain such consent prior to having a name, and
> if it already had a well-known name would it be wise to change it?
> The only concern I have about the names is that Free and Open seems
> to be switched. The OSL is based on reciprocity, which is usually
> associated with Free Software, and the AFL is not, which is usually
> associated with Open Source (especially when seen in the light of
> RMS's rejection of Open Source.)
> --
> license-discuss archive is at

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