Three new proposed OSD terms

Rod Dixon, J.D., LL.M. roddixon at
Thu Mar 3 18:51:39 UTC 2005

> On Wed, 2 Mar 2005, Ian Lance Taylor wrote:
>> In fact, I would another point, along the lines of:
>>    *The license must not be detrimental to the open source
>>    community.* If in the judgement of OSI approving the license would
>>    harm the open source community, OSI may deny certification.
> I think this, and two of the other three proposed OSD terms, are the wrong 
> direction.  Certification should not be so subjective - it will only lead 
> to long, drawn out arguments over whether something is detrimental or not, 
> or duplicative or not, and make it difficult to defend a decision as more 
> than a value judgement.  If we're defaulting to the value judgements of 
> the OSI board or of the people here at license-discuss, we're much much 
> closer to the peasants-with-pitchforks Robespierre-esque mis-ideal that 
> our enemies love to malign us as.
> I think OSI should leave the certification criteria as they are - even 
> consider taking a fresh look at the existing ones to ask if they're 
> needed.  I think OSI could very well create a gold standard list of 
> licenses that meet additional criteria and are "recommended".  It might 
> take some effort to properly template-ize them, and to provide a chart 
> showing which licenses allow sublicensing under which other licenses.  It 
> might even be useful to attempt to provide standard language for certain 
> upcoming requirements, like patent defense clauses.  All of which is more 
> work than just inventing a few new rules, admittedly.
>  Brian
In my opinion, these are extremely thoughtful and helpful recommendations.

- Rod Dixon 

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