compatibility and the OSD

Chuck Swiger chuck at
Tue Sep 21 16:34:44 UTC 2004

Russell Nelson wrote:
> Evan Prodromou writes:
> > So, I'd like to pop my head up and say that I think this license sucks eggs.
> OF COURSE it sucks eggs.  Many of the approved licenses suck eggs, and
> nobody in their right mind would reuse them, much less use them in the
> first place.  We would be happy to turn down any and all licenses that
> suck eggs, but first we would need a term in the OSD (#11?) that says
> "No license shall suck eggs."

Well said.  Your argument is not only valid and funny, however-- it could also 
be applied to the second point you made about license interactions:

[ ... ]
> NIH is as bad for licenses as it is for code.  We've handily solved
> the problem of software reuse; now if only we could solve the problem
> of license reuse.

We would be happy to turn down any and all licenses which conflict with 
existing OSD-approved licenses in order to facilitate license and code reuse, 
only first we'd need an OSD #12 which says "licenses must not conflict with 
each other".

I think facilitating code reuse by encouraging licenses to play nice with each 
other is a fine idea, but not critical to "open source".  After all, many of 
the existing OSD-approved licenses already conflict with each other!  The FSF 
has an entire site dedicated to whether license so-and-so is GPL-compatible or 
not, for example, which makes OSD #12 a non-starter.


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