Certification WAS: License Proliferation

Ernest Prabhakar prabhaka at apple.com
Tue Sep 6 17:41:33 UTC 2005

Hi Russ,

Sorry for the delay.  Let me see if I'm understanding your points, as  
I think they are rather crucial:

>> My personal preference is that we (this list, representing the OSI)
>> provide *recommendations* for good drafting procedures and non-
>> duplicativity, but always be clear that these are not
>> *requirements*.   I suspect it is the confusion between those two
>> terms that has been the source of much angst.
> No, that's not the cause.  With full knowledge, we (the board)
> converted the long-standing recommendations into requirements (unique,
> readable, and reusable).  The problem is interpreting those
> requirements.

I must admit, I completely missed this.  When you first proposed  
three new OSD terms <http://lwn.net/Articles/125836/> I thought the  
end result of that discussion was that those terms would NOT be part  
of the OSD.

Then, with this news came out:

I read "Approved" as referring to 'approval for general reuse' -- not  
explicitly OSD approval -- since the OSD itself was not amended:


Hence my utter confusion. Are you saying that those three anti- 
proliferation terms are now *already* officially part of the OSD,  
even thought that may not be obvious to the casual observer?  And  
that the proliferation committee only exists to deal with tiering of  
old licenses, or new licenses that are non-duplicative but may not be  

I apologize for missing this, but I distinctly remember being told  
(by Laura?) that license-discuss only needed to concern itself with  
the (original) ten terms of the OSD.   Did I just imagine that, or  
has the OSI's position changed/been clarified?

> In principle, we're doing exactly what debian-legal is doing.  If
> we're wrong to apply extra-OSD requirements, then debian-legal is
> wrong to apply extra-DFSG requirements.

Last I checked, these were Debian's informal rules for their  
"personal" use, not a legally-defensible public certification mark  
like OSD-compliance.  Has either side of that equation changed?

-- Ernie P.

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