License Proliferation

Alex Bligh alex at
Sun Sep 4 13:38:52 UTC 2005

--On 04 September 2005 15:28 +0200 Chris Zumbrunn <chris at> wrote:

> The GPL no longer being an OSI approved license would not harm
> the GPL, the FSF or the free software movement in any way

Too true, but perhaps not quite how you meant it.

The GPL not being an approved license would make the OSI (and OSI
approval) a joke, simply because most open-source software would be under
a license that did not have OSI approval. It would have the advantage
of ending the license-proliferation discussion in a neat way though, simply
because noone would bother asking the OSI for approval of their licenses
because noone would care. IE it would do no harm at all to open-source,
but shoot the OSI's other foot off in spectacular manner.

The GPL not being a recommended license would conceivably be a maintainable
position, if carefully explained. (For instance, if the GPL 2.0 was not
a recommended license, but 3.0 was, that would clearly be an acceptable


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