board action on License Committee Report for September 2005

Mark Shewmaker mark at
Tue Sep 13 17:02:56 UTC 2005

On Mon, Sep 12, 2005 at 04:33:40PM -0400, Russell Nelson wrote:
> I'm the chair of the license approval committee.  This is my report of
> the board's actions for the current set of licenses under discussion.


> Aside from Andy's concern listed below, everybody thinks the license
> complies with the OSD.

That's not at all true.  There were multiple folks, including myself,
who don't think the OVPL complies with the OSD.  We had extensive
discussion on the list on it.

(And as a side note, it definitely doesn't fit with the
proliferation-related requirement, deleted from the site
sometime within the last few weeks, that stated that licenses which
granted the licensor more rights than the licensee wouldn't be
approved--unfortunately I forget the actual wording which used to be on
the site.)

In any event, the only reason conversation died down, at least the only
reason I stopped participating, was that it was rather pointless to
continually bring up different reasons why the license-back agreement
would be incompatible with the OSD, when we were still waiting for board
members to join the conversation so we wouldn't be discussing things in
such a vaccuum.

Or bringing up reasons why it might be OSD compatible:  For instance,
since a license that required individuals to pay someone $10000.00 for
each and every modification could possibly be argued to be technically
OSD compliant, a license that required those individuals to effectively
dual-license their modifications instead of paying $10000.00 might also
be technically OSD compliant.  That could be one argument for OVPL
OSD-compatibility, but we were still waiting for the board to actually
discuss any of this.

(That's the only argument I can see that could possibly make the license
OSD-compatible, ignoring for the moment that it would still violate the
reciprical-rights equirement since deleted from the

So while the discussions on OVPL-OSD compatibility were basically on
hold while we all waited for board members to join in on the discussion
as was repeatedly requested, what seems to have happened instead of
actual board involvement was a board vote that didn't actually directly
address any of the concerns folks had.

I find that rather confusing.

What's the point of participating in these discussions if requests like
these are ignored, and identified problems aren't even acknowledged?

(BTW, I don't mean my tone here to sound so negative.  I think that
there's simply some sort of something-fell-through-the-cracks problem
going on in the process, some simple blind spot or something like that
going on.  Having the discuss list is the right thing to do, and in the
past discussions have made a difference.  It just seems like there's
something broken but emminently fixable at the moment.)

Mark Shewmaker
mark at

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