Concerns relating to the FSF and Future Licenses

Chris Travers chris at
Sun Aug 19 01:31:47 UTC 2007

Rick Moen wrote:
> Quoting Chris Travers (chris at
>> Hi all;
> [incredibly long post]
> Chris seems to want list-members to conduct an inquiry into FSF itself
> and conduct of FSF spokesmen (especially their "loyalty to their ideals"), 
> as opposed to examining FSF-originated licences on their merits measured
> against, oh, the Open Source Definition.
Just a point as to what I want...  I think we should generally agree 
that questions as to whether a license should be approved should be 
limited to the 4 corners of the license.  What we think of RMS, the FSF, 
Microsoft, Oracle, or any other person/organization should play no part 
in approval decisions (one major reason for the separate thread).

That concensus seems fairly close.  What I am actually arguing against 
are points such as follows (posted by Chris DiBona on the MS-PL approval 

"If not, why should the OSI approve of your efforts? That of a company 
who has called those who use the licenses that OSI purports to defend a 
communist or a cancer? Why should we see this seeking of approval as 
anything but yet another attack in the guise of friendliness?"

Later in the thread.

"Again, this is not a discussion about licenses but whether or not it is 
wise for OSI to enable its most vicious competitor."

The implication being that if we see an organization as a vicious 
competitor, we should consider rejecting their licenses on the grounds 
that they may be used against us as an organization whether or not they 
otherwise meet our standards.  THe problem with this point is that it 
opens the door to discussing whether an organization is a "vicious 
competitor" every time a license is submitted.  Would it be right for me 
to ask the FSF to reply to similar questions derived from my post as to 
whether they are going to start guarding software Freedom again every 
time they propose a license?

I think the point should be clear.  I have now made it and I will not 
post any further comments on this thread unless requested to do so.

Best WIshes,
Chris Travers
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