Three new proposed OSD terms

Chuck Swiger chuck at
Wed Mar 2 22:27:06 UTC 2005

Russell Nelson <nelson at> wrote:
[ ...abbreviate the three proposed terms... ]

"*The license must be reusable*"

+1.  The ability to reuse a license for other open source projects is a 
fundamental issue which belongs with the other basic criteria found in 
the OSD.

"*The license must be clearly written, simple, and understandable.*"


"*The license must not be duplicative.*"

-1.  The OSD does not incorporate the list of approved licenses into 
the definition, yet this term cannot be evaluated without considering 
already-approved licenses.  I think that the OSD should be 
self-contained, and that a license ought to be evaluated on its own 
merits vis-a-vis compliance with the OSD.  It doesn't make much sense 
to claim that a duplicative license is not OSD-compliant if the 
original version was.

For example, the X.Net license is pretty much the MIT license plus the 
clause:  "This agreement shall be governed in all respects by the laws 
of the State of California and by the laws of the United States of 
America."  Likewise, the Intel Open Source License is pretty much 
identical to the old 3-clause BSD license plus the US export 
restrictions clause.

The X.Net and Intel Open Source licenses currently are OSD-compliant, 
yet are duplicative and contain language which is not universally 
reusable.  I don't think these licenses should be de-certified, yet 
neither does it seem useful to keep adding yet another 
BSD-license-plus-jurisdiction clause variant to the list of 
OSI-approved licenses.

Perhaps it would be helpful to seperate the notion of OSD-compliance 
with the issue of OSI certification?  If someone submits a duplicative 
license, and we agree that this proposed license is compliant with the 
OSD, maybe list it somewhere as an acceptable derivative of the 
original OSI-approved license, but not award it seperate certification?


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