Groklaw's OSI item (was: When will CPAL actually be _used_?)

Mike Milinkovich mike.milinkovich at
Wed Aug 22 21:10:47 UTC 2007

I agree that it is important to the credibility of the OSI that it apply the
OSD to the Microsoft request in a completely rational manner, and that it
either certify the licenses or document where they are deficient. No special
treatment, either positively or negatively.

Proliferation and compatibility (GPL or otherwise) are red herrings. Despite
the conversations on proliferation last year, new licenses have been
approved by the OSI, so clearly it remains in the license certification
business. And compatibility is not part of the OSD, as the existence of the
GPL, MPL, CPL, EPL and others demonstrate. (E.g. not even all of the
existing "tier one" licenses are compatible.)

It is to the benefit to all of us in the open source community that
Microsoft begins to follow the OSI certification program, and use its marks.
As a large, IP-savvy company, I believe that they will use those marks with
appropriate care, because failure to do so has no upside and a great deal of

The simple fact that they have submitted licenses for approval implies that
they are taking open source a great deal more seriously than in the past.
This is a good thing.

Mike Milinkovich
Executive Director
Eclipse Foundation, Inc.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Brian Behlendorf [mailto:brian at]
> Sent: Wednesday, August 22, 2007 4:25 PM
> To: cooi at
> Cc: license-discuss at
> Subject: Re: Groklaw's OSI item (was: When will CPAL actually be
> _used_?)
> On Wed, 22 Aug 2007, Cinly Ooi wrote:
> > Microsoft should not be discriminated simply because it is Microsoft,
> nor
> > should it be given special treatment if it is Microsoft.
> I agree with that.
> > My view is if the licenses satisfy OSI rules on Open Source and
> License
> > Proliferation, it should by default be approved. Otherwise, OSI can
> and
> > should be stand accused of anti-Microsoft.
> I agree.  I suppose my prior question about proliferation could be
> answered by understanding specifically what the policy is - how much
> substantive difference is required in order to justify a new license,
> etc.
> I don't know if it's like the Supreme Court's definition of smut, "we
> know
> it when we see it", or something that can be articulated, turned into a
> term of the OSD, etc.
> > Microsoft, like any other submitters, should be cautioned that its
> > certification will be pulled if it twist the truth or behave in any
> manner
> > that is detriment to OSI's objective.
> I think that goes way too far.  AFAIK, OSI has never "pulled" the
> certification of any license, even ones that in retrospect probably
> should
> not have been approved, let alone one based on the actions of the
> license
> steward.  Imagine the chaos it could cause for third parties who choose
> to use that certified license and then are told, probably without much
> warning, that it's no longer Open Source - purely due to actions beyond
> their control, and not because the license itself fails some OSD test.
> Imagine the burden it places on OSI of having to arbitrate not just
> licensing policy but the "Open Source truthfulness" of any submitting
> organization - for all time.  OSI's been a fine platform for airing
> issues
> related to this - publishing the Halloween documents, for example - but
> I
> don't think pulling a certification for bad behavior would be an
> appropriate use of its power.  I've not even addressed whether such a
> thing is legal for a certification body or mark, or a 501c3, either.
>  	Brian

More information about the License-discuss mailing list