license proliferation committee charter

Laura Majerus LMajerus at
Mon Apr 18 19:03:44 UTC 2005

Here's the charter for the License Proliferation Committee.  This is an
advisory committee  to the OSI Board.
If you are interested in being on the committee, please email me
separately at lmajerus at  We are going to have to keep the
committee to a manageable size, so no guarantees about membership.

Laura Majerus
- ---------------

Proposed Charter for License Proliferation  (LP)  Committee of the Open
Source Initiative (OSI):

    1. TYPE OF COMMITTEE: This is an advisory committee, reporting to
the OSI Board  

    2. PURPOSE:  The purpose of the Committee is to identify and lessen
or remove issues caused by license proliferation.

    3. POLICY STATEMENT:  The committee will never take action that
requires a licensor to relicense his or her project.  No license will be
"de-approved" to the extent that it is no longer considered an open
source license. The committee will consult with the steward of a license
before recommending action concerning that license.  All actions of the
committee will be approved by the OSI Board.

     The work of the Committee may be accomplished through subcommittees
formed of members from the whole Committee.

      With the approval of the OSI Board, the committee will:

            a.  Identify the various things that people mean when they
discuss the license proliferation issue (i.e., what are the problems
caused by license proliferation or is the very existence of numerous
Open Source licenses also a problem). This involves, among other things,
soliciting input from the community, both individual and corporate.

            b.  Take steps, both big and small, to lessen license
proliferation and educate the public about existing licenses.  These may
include but are not limited to:
                -encourage license stewards to "deprecate" existing
licenses for which they are responsible (this move will NOT remove OSI's
approval from licenses, just mark them as not desirable to use in the
future).  Intel has taken a step in this direction when it recently
offered to  no longer recommend the Intel Open Source License.

                -work on "tiering" existing approved licenses,
separating the licenses into groups indicting whether they should be
used on future projects

                -provide educational materials (such as a matrix)  to
describe traits of some or all existing approved licenses (this license
is reciprocal, this license has a choice of laws clause, etc.).  This
will provide educational assistance to people trying to pick a license
for their project.

                -Suggest that existing projects re-license if using
"deprecated" licenses (Current thinking is that OSI will NEVER REQUIRE
licensors to relicense)

                -Other actions as suggested by the committee members

    5. OFFICERS AND MEMBERSHIP: Non-Board members may be members of the
    Chair: Laura Majerus, OSI Director of Legal Affairs
    Known members: Eric Raymond, Russ Nelson

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