"De-approve" the Intel Open Source License

Laura Majerus LMajerus at fenwick.com
Tue Mar 29 20:57:50 UTC 2005

I agree that this is a great example of leadership.

Because Intel is the originator of this license, of course they can decide that they do not want to promote it for future use.  And it makes sense that people and organizations who have already released code under a license in the past should be able continue to use the license and call it "open source."

OSI has no real mechanism to tell people that they CANNOT use a particular license anymore, but we can tell them that certain licenses are no longer promoted by the people who wrote them.  The inference is that those licenses are really not the best choice for new projects.

The OSI needs a more formal procedure to allow companies to remove licenses from "active license" status. If nothing else, we need to make sure that all relevant parties in a corporation agree that they want to change the status of a license.  We'll work on getting this going.

Laura Majerus
OSI, Director of Legal Affairs

-----Original Message-----
From: Fink, Martin R [mailto:martin.fink at hp.com]
Sent: Tuesday, March 29, 2005 10:39 AM
To: Smith, McCoy; license-discuss at opensource.org
Subject: RE: "De-approve" the Intel Open Source License

I offer my sincere thanks to Intel Corp for this move.  This is an
awesome piece of leadership and I congratulate you for it.

This is a great move!!!


| Martin Fink                  | Email: martin.fink at hp.com |
| Vice-President               | Phone: (970) 898-7076     |
| Open Source & Linux          | Fax:   (970) 898-4302     |
| Hewlett-Packard Co.          |                           |
| 3404 East Harmony Road, MS43 | Asst:  Ingrid Busch       |
| Fort Collins, CO 80528       | Phone: (970) 898-0782     |
-----Original Message-----
From: Smith, McCoy [mailto:mccoy.smith at intel.com]
Sent: Tuesday, March 29, 2005 8:55 AM
To: license-discuss at opensource.org
Subject: "De-approve" the Intel Open Source License

I am the attorney at Intel Corporation responsible for Intel's legal
practices and policies relating to open source.

Intel has been studying internally the issue of license proliferation.
One step Intel would like to take to reduce license proliferation (both
internally, and externally, to Intel) is to have the "Intel Open Source
License" (aka "BSD License with Export Notice"
http://www.opensource.org/licenses/intel-open-source-license.php )
removed from future use as an approved OSI open source license.

It does not appear that the Intel Open Source License has found much use
(there approximately 25 projects on SourceForge using the license, most
of which appear to have been able to use just the plain BSD license
without an export notice) and therefore Intel believes the lntel Open
Source License could be removed from the approved list without causing
significant problems.  We do however, think that the "de-approval" of
this license should not be retroactive to past uses, since we do not
wish to force companies (including Intel) and individuals to have to go
through the trouble of re-licensing code they may have released in the
past under Intel Open Source License when it was an OSI-approved
license.  Perhaps a solution would be to categorize this license as
"obsolete for future use" or something like that.

I hadn't seen anyone on the mailing list make this sort of request
before so this may be a new idea that OSI hasn't ever done.  If you have
any questions on this particular request or need more information, feel
free to contact me via the license-discuss list (to which I am now

McCoy Smith

Intel Corporation

Legal Department

mccoy.smith at intel.com

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