Three new proposed OSD terms
svosrp at gmail.com
Wed Mar 2 16:11:12 UTC 2005
On 10:09 AM -0500 3/2/05, Russell Nelson doth scribe:
>11. *The license must not be duplicative.*
This seems like an administrative detail, not a principle of the open source movement.
NY Times: Mr. Nelson, what does the open source movement stand for?"
Nelson: "We stand for free access to source code, and non-duplicative licenses".
It would be like Moses adding "thou shalt file thy taxes on time" to be the 11th commandment.
It seems like this belongs on the "Getting a License Approved" section. As in, after Bullet Point 4, say "the board reserves the right to reject any license that is similar in form or effect to an existing license".
>12. *The license must be clearly written, simple, and understandable.*
> Open-source licenses are written to serve people who are not
> attorneys, and they need to be comprehensible by people who are
> not attorneys.
Am I missing something? I though open source licenses were written to allocate the rights to a programmer's efforts in a way that is enforceable in a court of law.
I realize that Larry Rosen may today be a controversial figure here, but read his book (or that of Andrew St. Laurent) on some of the "clearly written" licenses. They may be appealing to a programmer, but who knows what a court will decide if they're ever tested? And if they make an attorney throw up his hands in despair, what company will use them?
I agree the goal is that shorter and clearer are better, but we should not sacrifice legal accuracy either.
>13. *The license must be reusable*.
> If the license contains proper
> names of individuals, associations, or projects, these must be
> incorporated by reference from an attachment that declares the
> names of the issuer and any other cited parties, and which can be
> modified without changing the terms of the license.
Incorporated by reference? Or changed within the license by template substitution. Again, the incorporated by reference may have some legal disadvantages.
> As the sole
> exception, the license may name its owner and steward.
Define "steward". Does this mean that we encourage people to copyright their licenses? If so, I think there should be a policy as to what license should be used, because any license should be reusable (like code) to make a new license. We wouldn't have the Sleepycat license (from BSD) or the IPL/CPL (from Mozilla) without this principle.
Silicon Valley Open Source Research Project http://www.cob.sjsu.edu/OpenSource/
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