For Approval: Open Source Software Alliance License

Sean Chittenden sean at
Mon Sep 29 23:17:00 UTC 2003

'tips hat to a BSDer and [snips]

> Just to make sure things are clear: I don't think anyone on this
> list would argue that OSI should be"only permitting licenses that
> GPL compatible".  In fact, the OSI has approved numerous licenses
> that are GPL-incompatible.  Further, any of us come from the BSD
> tradition and have our own issues with the GPL, though we try to
> respect and understand their 'business model'.

*chuckles at business model*

> Also, you should realize that while the OSI board makes decisions
> that are -informed by- this dialogue, but since this group doesn't
> speak with a coherent voice they aren't required to follow us in any
> formal way.  In fact, I think I've noticed several distinct
> criticisms of your license, which its important not to confuse:

*nods* Let me run through this excellent as a way to hopefully pair
down the threads that are worth engaging in:

> A.  It is morally wrong to create a license incompatible with the

*nods* I don't think this will be resolved by anything anyone says and
is a difference of ideological opinions (which everyone is entitled
to and is a good thing(TM)).

> B.  It is pointless to create such a license, since you're solving a
> non-existing problem.

Subject to debate, decided by the author and influenced by the
decision reached by the OSI board and members of this list.

> C.  As a practical matter, it is a bad idea to openly criticize the

:-/ Agreed, I'm sure I didn't win any points in doing so.

> D.  The license as written doesn't accomplish your stated goal,
> regardless of whether or not that goal as valid

Short of a signed contract, fully accomplishing that goal is
impossible, but it doesn't prevent the goal from being stated as a
guiding light/statement of philosophy for the community.

> E.  There's other licenses (like the EU DataGrid) which accomplish
> your purposes just as effectively, and we should avoid needless
> duplication, so please use that instead.

Yeah, I read this license and liked it with the exception of one
point: contributions to EUDGL software can be hopelessly
interdependent on GPL bits, which I'm not wild about.


> Enough meta-rambling; back to the debate...

Whoa!  Wait a sec, you mean code talks and there's more to software
than its license?  :) -sc

Sean Chittenden
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