Official License Anti-Proliferation policy?

Evan Prodromou evan at
Tue Apr 12 01:03:57 UTC 2005

On Mon, 2005-04-11 at 16:06 -0700, Ernest Prabhakar wrote:
> Dear OSI,
> Is this for real, or just media rumor-mongering?  Not that I  
> particularly mind either way, but I'd like to be sure. :-)

Wow. What a horrible mistake! I wish the board had read the very long,
involved discussion here on license-discuss before taking this step,
since there was much more opposition to anti-proliferation efforts than
support for them. It seems to have been largely ignored.

I think the whole misunderstanding is founded on this incorrect

        License proliferation has become a significant barrier to
        open-source deployment.

License _incompatibility_ is a barrier for deployment, but that's the
case whether you have 4 or 40 approved licenses. There is absolutely no
evidence that license proliferation is hurting open source deployment,
nor even that we're seeing more license incompatibility problems, or
problems on a different scale, in 2005 than in 1995.

I think this was a really, really bad smoke-filled room decision. I'm
really sorry that the OSI board can't think of anything better to do
with their time than this. Is this _really_ the number one problem
facing Open Source in 2005? I think not.


~Evan Prodromou

P.S. I guess at least we've saved Martin Fink.

Evan Prodromou
evan at

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