License Proliferation

Russell Nelson nelson at
Sun Sep 4 05:18:34 UTC 2005

Ian Lance Taylor writes:
 > Who does the OSI represent?  Businesses who use open source or the
 > open source community as a whole?  Is what is good for one necessarily
 > good for the other?

My opinion; not an official OSI position:

If businesses notice that it's expensive to review a brazilian
licenses, and individuals don't notice a problem, then something is
wrong that needs fixing.  Either the businesses don't need to review
all those licenses, or individuals ought to be reviewing them.  So
yes, what is good for one is necessarily good for the other.

 > > But how probable is it that there would be so many different licenses
 > > (but history has shown that people are vain -- we rejected Dave's
 > > Software License many years ago) applied to so much successful
 > > software?  How many different legal jurisdictions are there?  In the
 > > trivial case, everyone who submits a license will have it approved,
 > > they'll use it on their own project, and because it's not recommended,
 > > nobody else will ever use it.
 > Or, to put it another way, even this strawman is a self-correcting
 > situation, and not a major difficulty.

That just disposes of the trivial case.  Once you move away from that
case to the anticipated state of 200 unique open source licenses, what
do you do?

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