License Proliferation (WAS: Policy)

Eric S. Raymond esr at
Sat Sep 24 04:14:01 UTC 2005

Ernest Prabhakar <prabhaka at>:
> That said, I still feel like the job needs to be done, and nobody  
> else seems to be volunteering.  Last call?

I think you're it :-).
> If you/the Board want me to do this -- and nobody else in the  
> community objects or volunteers -- I'm willing to take this on.  BUT,  
> only under the following conditions.
> I. The Board explicitly spells out, on a public web page:
> 	i) The exact phrasing of the three new criteria
> 	ii) Whether they are part of, or supplemental to, the OSD
> 	iii) The mechanism by which they will be applied
> 	iv) The rationale for making them part of the standard for license  
> approval

i) Ken, please make sure the version we passed gets published.

ii) They are supplemental to the OSD.

iii) We expect license-discuss to apply them when doing evaluations.
The Board will consider them when making final approve/reject decidions.

iv) The rationale for these new criteria is simply that we need to avoid
junk licenses.  At a time when we're trying to cut down even on the number
of non-junk licenses in use, we have to be more strict about what we
allow in.

> II.  The discussion takes place openly and officially on "license- 
> proliferation-discuss"
> That means:
> 	i) There is a notice on the aforementioned web page inviting  
> feedback on that forum
> 	ii) All four components under (I) are "in play" as valid topics of  
> discussion
> 	iii) Eric, representing the Board, also participates in that 
> 	discussion
> 	iv) the Board commits to respond, publicly and in detail, to the  
> summary report I will provide

I will participate in the discussion. I will respond on behalf of
the Board, having been tasked to do so at the last meeting.

> Again, this seems the minimum necessary to ensure a credible  
> response. Plus, that finally gets this topic of license-discuss. :-)

A good thing.
> And if you're willing to do all that, then:
> III.  I personally (not representing Apple) agree to:
> 	i) Moderate the discussion of these topics on license-proliferation- 
> discuss
> 	ii) Formulate a coherent summary representing the community consensus
> 	iii) Respond to and incorporate community feedback regarding that  
> summary
> 	iv) Advocate and elucidate that summary to the OSI Board
> Fair enough?

> Also, let me be up-front about my perspective on this issue.  I see  
> the Board as *trustees* of the OSD and Certification Mark on behalf  
> of the *entire* community.  That means that I believe they *do* have  
> both the right and the duty to amend those as needed to represent the  
> best interests of the community.  However, that also means they have  
> an *obligation* to ensure that such action also represent the best  
> *understanding* of the community, as reflected by considered feedback.

Agreed.  I couldn't have put it better myself.
		<a href="">Eric S. Raymond</a>

More information about the License-discuss mailing list