For Approval: Simple Permissive License

Russell McOrmond russell at
Mon Feb 9 17:56:37 UTC 2004

On 8 Feb 2004, Ian Lance Taylor wrote:

> I don't see how it serves the purposes of the OSI to approve a license
> which is intended to be identical to an existing license merely
> because programmers can't read.  This is a small benefit for your
> programmers right now, and increased confusion for all people in the
> future who tries to understand when and whether they should use your
> new license.

  One of the powerful advantages of Open Source over "software
manufacturing" is that you can read and understand a license once, and
then know how it is applied to many programs.  Having more licenses that
say the same thing is a huge disadvantage and it ends up tieing up each
user in understanding the license rather than the single initial author.

  One thing that the Creative Commons has done with their licenses that
the Open Source community may want to think about is have layperson
readable explanations of licenses that then reference the legal text.  
Creative Commons calls theirs a a "commons deed". 

  Their "attribution" license is similar to a generic non-copyleft Open
Source license:

  They even have a Public Domain Dedication.

 Russell McOrmond, Internet Consultant: <> 
 Governance software that controls ICT, automates government policy, or
 electronically counts votes, shouldn't be bought any more than 
 politicians should be bought.  --

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