Three new proposed OSD terms

Alex Rousskov rousskov at
Wed Mar 2 23:03:26 UTC 2005

On Wed, 2005/03/02 (MST), <nelson at> wrote:

> We have always pushed people in this direction, but by adding these
> terms to the OSD, we will be proactively refusing licenses which don't
> meet these requirements.

I think these three terms should _not_ be added to OSD for two reasons:

	a) I do not see how these new terms will sufficiently reduce the number  
of approved licenses long-term. We have almost 60 licenses now. In 10  
years, we will probably have more than 75 licenses with or without the new  
terms. If Open Source becomes more mainstream and software patents  
survive, we will probably have more than 100 licenses, with or without the  
new terms. In other words, the number of licenses will be "too large" even  
if you weed out duplicates (rule #11 and #13). I am sure there will be  
fewer licenses with the new terms in place, but there is really no  
practical difference between having 100 licenses and 200 licenses!  
[ Moreover, I doubt the new rules can reject 50% of new submissions;  
humans, including lawyers, are very adaptive. ]

	b) The proposed terms have nothing to do with Open Source Definition,  
IMHO. Only the vague rule #12 is remotely related to what Open Source  
means or should mean. However, as others pointed out, it is not clear  
whether it is possible to write a clear, simple, and understandable legal  
document these days. Let the market forces decide what is clear and simple  
enough. Obviously, OSI board should not certify licenses they cannot  
understand (with or without the new rules).



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