Should the three new criteria be in the OSD?

Eric S. Raymond esr at
Fri Mar 4 23:18:08 UTC 2005

Fink, Martin R <martin.fink at>:
>                            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, there have been all kinds of dark rumors swirling around to
the effect that the current flap over proliferation is part of some
sinister master plan by which OSDL intends to subsume OSI's functions
into its ever-growing empire.

Personally, I think these rumors are silly. It would take someone
remarkably stupid and unimaginative not to anticipate the entire
development community rising in wrath if it looked like a bunch of
corporate minions were going to try and take over OSI's job.  I don't
believe anyone at OSDL is that stupid.

Therefore, I intend to take you at your word.  I wanted to tackle this
problem three years ago.  In fact, I did, but was blocked by circumstances
too painful to go into just now.

I am in the process of editing a detailed plan to address license
proliferation.  One Board member has weighed in on it, we had a
concall earlier today at which we made some key decisions about it,
and I'm promised review over the next day or so from two others.  I
can't send you a draft before the Board approves it, but the clear
direction of the Board is to involve as wide a range of open-source
stakeholders as we can. Accordingly, you *will* get the option to be
at the table when some of the key decisions are made.

Your challenge is that some of the necessary steps in that plan are
going to be uncomfortable for OSDL's sponsors -- because one of the
biggest problems (though not the only one) is corporate vanity
licenses, and the plan would put huge barriers in the way of those.

If your word is good, and your real agenda is to make sure the model
still works in ten years, then you will get behind OSI making its
approval criteria dramatically more strict even if that means pissing
off a fair number of people in the short term.

Are you ready for that action?
		<a href="">Eric S. Raymond</a>

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