License Finder wizard

Alex Rousskov rousskov at
Fri Mar 4 16:59:06 UTC 2005

On Thu, 2005/03/03 (MST), <roddixon at> wrote:

> Brian Behlendorf <brian at> wrote:
>> 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.
> In my opinion, these are extremely thoughtful and helpful  
> recommendations.


IMHO, the most useful OSI project would be to provide a straightforward  
"License Finder" wizard on the web site so that people with mainstream  
licensing requirements can pick the best license without much hassle.  
Naturally, OSI will make sure that the wizard recommends only a handful of  
"good" licenses. Here is an example of the final [simplified] output.

  - The best license to suit your needs is: Foo
  - <small>The following licenses may meet some of your needs as well: L1,  
L2, L3, L17, L24</small>
  - Want a second opinion? Try these License Finding wizards developed by  
others: W1, W2.

With the above wizard, there is no reason to add any complicated and rigid  
"Gold License" rules or fight for inclusion on the Gold list. If a license  
addresses a common need, it will be recommended by the wizard. If somebody  
does not like the algorithm, they can write their own wizards, and OSI  
should consider linking to them. The only thing that is needed is a set of  
a few mainstream use cases and a dialog to find which case is closer to  
the current wizard user. The code can be adapted as needed. Creative  
Commons is a good example on how this can be done.

Will this wizard significantly reduce the number of new OSD-compliant  
licenses? No. Nothing in OSI power will. Not all problems have solutions  
that do not create bigger problems.


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