Should the three new criteria be in the OSD?

Fink, Martin R martin.fink at
Fri Mar 4 22:25:05 UTC 2005

Well, I'm the OSDL dude that's largely responsible for "piling on the
pressure".  For the record, I have NEVER created a new license, so I
feel uniquely positioned to pile on that pressure.  I approve about 3
OSS projects/activities a week at HP and have NEVER had to create a
license, so I can't figure out why anybody else needs to.  I also give
just as much grief all those who create any new licenses even if they
are a member of the OSDL.

The question shouldn't be if OSDL members will stop using Open Source
software (or any other of your questions), the question is if over the
long haul the OSI will have delivered useful value to the industry (and
the community) when we get to license #500 and no one can figure out
what works with what?  So, I really don't care about politics or
philosophy, I just want to make sure that 10 years from now the OSS
model actually still works.  That's all - plain and simple.


| Martin Fink                  | Email: martin.fink at |
| Vice-President, Linux        | Phone: (970) 898-7076     |
| Hewlett-Packard Co.          | Fax:   (970) 898-4302     |
| 3404 East Harmony Road, MS43 | Asst:  Ingrid Busch       |
| Fort Collins, CO 80528       | Phone: (970) 898-0782     |

-----Original Message-----
From: Chuck Swiger [mailto:chuck at] 
Sent: Friday, March 04, 2005 11:05 AM
To: Russell Nelson
Cc: license-discuss at; esr at
Subject: Re: Should the three new criteria be in the OSD?

On Mar 4, 2005, at 10:45 AM, Russell Nelson wrote:
> Eric S. Raymond writes:
>> My intention is that the people who have been putting heavy pressure
>> on OSI to solve the proliferation problem are going to get what they
>> want, and they're going to get it good and hard.
> Yup.  OSDL is one of the entities piling on the pressure, [ ... ]

This is remarkable.  What kind of pressure could the OSDL members 
possibly apply which would make one bit of difference to the OSI or the 
members of the OSI board?

Are the OSDL members going to stop using Open Source software?
Are they not going to submit new licenses for OSI approval in the 
Are they not going to display the OSI certification mark?

Are they going to publicly assert that the OSI board is composed of 
horrible people who approve too many OSD-compliant licenses?  Tsk.  :-)

> Myself, I think that OSDL should *start* by getting its
> house in order.  It should work with its members to get them to
> relicense under one of the OSDL's proposed three licenses.  If they
> can't do that with their own members, then they have no reason, right,
> or place to tell us what to do.

Indeed not, although clearly some OSDL members *have* tried to tell the 
OSI board what to do.  However, it is not clear why this would affect 
what the OSI board does.

[ If they were polite about the matter, be just as polite when you 
thank them for their unsolicited suggestions.  If they said something 
worth considering, consider it if you wish to, otherwise go about your 
business just as you would anyway. ]


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