OSI's war on corporate licenses

Ernest Prabhakar prabhaka at apple.com
Tue Apr 12 20:22:10 UTC 2005

Hi Russ,

On Apr 12, 2005, at 12:32 PM, Russell Nelson wrote:
> The MPL has suffered from a success failure.  At least a half-dozen
> licenses are of the form "Hey, we love the MPL, only we need to tweak
> it a little."  To the extent that it has spawned close copies, it is a
> success.  To the extent that it has spawned close copies, it is a
> failure.

That seems overly strong language.  By that same argument, one could  
say the BSD license is a failure, right?  For what its worth, I  
support the call for the OSI to clarify its (overly negative)  
language regarding the MPL.

> I don't mean to whine, but we need an MPL that everyone loves as the
> MPL, not as its bastard stepchild.

Okay, let me see if I follow your logic.

You -- speaking for the OSI Board? or just Russ? -- appear to believe:
  a) lots of people want to improve upon the MPL
  b) this is a sign that the MPL is flawed
  c) it is possible to create an MPL alternative without those flaws
  d) recognizing the MPL as a "failed experiment" is a good first  
step to fixing those flaws
  e) there is a process we can follow which will reliably result in  
this 'improved MPL'

Is that what you are saying? Or did I miss your point entirely?

Those are all plausible assertions, but hardly uncontroversial, and  
seem worth being discussed rather than simply assumed up front.  For  
my part, I'm willing to believe (a-c), but disagree with (d), and  
nervous about (e).

I'm all for trying to improve the state of licensing, but a little  
more transparency from the OSI would be appreciated.  Perhaps the  
news report forced your hand before you had a formal communication  
plan in place, but I at least feel a little blind-sided by the whole  

Assuming, of course, that the OSI still wants input from this list on  
the Proliferation issue, which strictly speaking appears to no longer  
be part of -our- agenda.

- Ernie P.
(speaking for myself)

More information about the License-discuss mailing list