FOR APPROVAL: WhizbangApplicationCompany Public License 1.0

Nicholas Goodman ngoodman at
Sat Nov 25 20:57:41 UTC 2006

On Sat, 2006-11-18 at 08:28 -0800, Danese Cooper wrote:

> In our experience, if we can get someone who is *actually* using a  
> given license to work with us we stand a much better chance of  
> working through the issues towards satisfactory resolution in favor  
> of true Open Source.  This process typically involves some back  

Agreed, assuming a premise:  If the holders of the licenses were
primarily interested in ensuring their license reflects their desire to
be "true open source" this process of back and forth can often result in
constructive dialog to help make the license meet OSD.  It is my belief
these companies (I know of no individuals who have released projects
with forced UI attribution clauses in MPL) are more concerned with the
market effect of "open source" than in the actual "open source" effect
(code contribution, free from vendor lockin, etc).  They can receive the
market effect of "open source" without OSI submission indefinitely.  The
other "side benefit" for their lengthy delay in submission (submission
takes about 30 seconds, and attention to follow up emails so TIME and
RESOURCE are NOT an issue) is they can now grow "communities" of people
that believe they are part of the "open source" community and hence,
demand to be "represented" by OSI as part of the FOSS community.

> consequences.  I can see only limited utility in debating and  
> possibly indicting a proxy license when the folks facing the actual  
> business case aren't representing their side of the question.  As I  

I disagree, but understand your point.  I understand that in a world
where people submitting are genuinely interested in making their
"LICENSES reflect OSD" instead of the "OSD to allow their LICENSES,"
participation by the company is paramount.  The "public" deserves to
know whether or not some of these popular (and GOOD, it should be
mentioned they are REALLY GOOD) products are actually what they say they
are: open source.  By not submitting to OSI they are, in essence,
diminishing the crucial role of vetting license to meet OSD.

So, I see great utility where you only see limited.  I really wish an
exhibit B company would submit (I'm trying to convince one myself) to
just get it out.  If they're so confident they are open source, meet the
OSD then clearly their license will shine with radiant light when
exposed to the light of day.  Only a proper approval process will
determine meeting the OSD.

> said in my blog, I think we have such a company nearly ready to  
> submit their license and rationale and to enter into an active debate  
> that might result in language everyone can agree upon.  Its been a  

Sure.  As long as they are an Exhibit B (not some other UI attribution
less commonly used) company and will serve as the same template for the
others, I think this would be a great benefit for the FOSS community.
That'd be great!

> tricky thing to get any of them to submit for fear of backlash.  
> These are not mega-corporations using the licenses in question.  They  
> are typically small and VC funded and they are pioneering a new  
> business space.  The company we expect to get a license submission  
> from isn't full of evil people trying to undermine Open Source, and  
> it is the hope of the OSI Board that they would be treated fairly on  
> this list.

I'd expect their license will be reviewed on it's specific merits, not
the company behind it (why I thought WPL was valuable).  I'm guessing
the approval process measures the explicit text of the license to the
OSD and does not consider company, intentions, personalities, etc.  I
think that the only fair way of assessing a license since the license
can be used by many companies (running the full spectrum of "evilness"
and copyright can be sold along with companies).  

I think reviewing the WPL would have actually BENEFITED these companies
in that no one company has to be the "focus" of this debate.   The
license can stand on it's own individual merits and is not tied to an
actual company or brand.  However, the OSI has made clear (and I
understand) they do not want to review licenses other than those
submitted by original authors.  

I personally don't believe they are evil people who are intentionally
trying to change open source.  I believe most of them just talk only to
each other about open source and are all relatively new to the
concept/space.  They believe that their $$ investment is somehow
different than all the previous $$ spent (ie, our code needs special
open source rights compared to other open source projects); I don't
understand this but don't believe it is sinister.

As I understand it then, WPL is no longer pending approval.

Kind Regards,
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