Inappropriate postings from non-lawyers

Richard Schilling rschi at
Fri Feb 13 20:20:39 UTC 2004

On 2004.02.13 08:35 Alex Rousskov wrote:
> On Thu, 12 Feb 2004, Richard Schilling wrote:
> > I post my response because so many times on this list people try to
> > play "armchair lawyer" and pick apart a license.  It's not
> > appropriate
> Richard,
> 	Could you please point me to this list charter or guidelines?
> You seem to imply that only lawyers can discuss posted licenses on
> this list. If what you seem to imply is true, I personally would stop
> discussing others' licenses immediately! I am not a lawyer. I
> contribute from a license _user_ point of view. I hope that OSI wants
> to accommodate open source users at least as much as open source
> lawyers and, hence, would benefit from users point of view being
> represented.

I simply expressed an opinion.  One could assume that because I don't 
write the charters. I'm simply laying out the judgement 
call that there's too much "loose banter" on this list.

I would like to see the criteria clarified on the web 
pages.  It would help clear up some confusion.  I suggested a few 
changes in an earlier post.

I too, want to see accomodate the general public . . . 
but it would be nice to see an effort by the list participants to keep 
the discussion related to legal licensing issues and not moral 
implications for the free world.

Look, folks the entire purpose of a license of any kind is to have 
something to present to a judge in case something goes wrong, and to 
clarify what rights are transferred to the end user.  The true test of 
a license (for open source work in a business) is what happens in court 
and in business negotiations.

If us non-lawyers defer to lawyers and listen more we may have more 
lawyers providing constructive input.

Obviously, people are arguing that the GPL is invalid and providing 
some detailed analysis.  I hope pays attention to that 
and gets self-critical about their criteria really quick.  At present, 
they are endorsing licenses that don't mean anything in front of a 
judge.  They're nice public statements and rhetoric, but not much else 
at times.

Am I critical and judgemental?  yes, I know. . .

Will I start my own discussion list and take my opinions there?  Sure, 
when I have time.


> 	If there is no list charter or guidelines, or if they do not
> share your point of view, then please adjust your appropriateness
> criteria accordingly. You are, of course, welcome to create a
> moderated lawyers-only list and convince OSI to use that instead of or
> in addition to this list.
> > Lawyers most likely write NASA licenses and that's something to
> > respect.
> Whether something is worth respect is not determined by whether it was
> made by a lawyer, IMHO. YMMV.
> Alex.
> --
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