An explanation of the difficulty of solving license proliferation in one sentence

Russell Nelson nelson at
Wed Mar 9 20:07:29 UTC 2005

Forrest J. Cavalier III writes:
 > Licenses exist to serve the needs of the SOFTWARE AUTHORS.

And one of those needs is for people to use their software.  If a
software author didn't have that need, they wouldn't bother publishing
their software.

I feel just as strongly as you that it's not possible to force anybody
to relicense.  It will require persuasion.

 > If a project wants to use a license that is not well accepted and
 > not compatible with other licenses, then yes, they should be gently
 > reminded of that at license submission, but they must remain free to
 > do that and take the consequences of incompatibility.

That's what we already do.

 > It still irks me that the people who formed the OSI really bungled
 > (and still bungle) the branding strategy that was going to be important
 > to increase FLOSS acceptance commercially.  Tis a pity.  How many
 > years did it take to get a logo?  Who's enforcing its application now?

There's nothing so unattractive as whining about the effort put out by
volunteers by somebody who hasn't lifted a hand to help.

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