An explanation of the difficulty of solving licenseproliferation in one sentence

Nathan Kelley digitaleon at
Fri Apr 1 15:22:31 UTC 2005

To OSI License Discussion subscribers,

> From: Rod Dixon, J.D., LL.M. <roddixon at>,

> It should go without saying that actions like "de approving" existing 
> licenses in order to fix what is alleged to be broken at least 
> requires reflective debate about why (or whether) 
> license-proliferation is a problem. Certainly, it is apparent that the 
> inherent risks to some of the proposed solutions seem to come with 
> greater problems than the problem they are intended to solve. More 
> fundamentally, to the extent that there is a problem worthy of a 
> solution, an open debate may help to disclose what that problem might 
> be.

Before we can define the problem, we need to answer these questions:

(1) Do we believe that the ultimate result of license proliferation is 
the prevention of derivations and improvements across 'legal lines'?

(2) If so, do we know if open source is still truly open under such 

(3) Does the OSI have a role to play in preventing such a state of 
affairs from occurring?

Cheers, Nathan.

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