SocialText license discussion--call for closure of arguments

Andrew C. Oliver acoliver at
Fri Jan 19 22:22:02 UTC 2007

Sounds rational.  Suggestions:

1. Set up two mailing lists (I can do that if Russ's services are not 
available to that task)
2. Schedule 3 IRC meetings for each group (temporally separated) - I 
don't have an IRC server but we can probably use any number of public ones
3. Set up 3 public read-only, private (for those on the list/IRC chats) 
read-write wiki pages (I can also do that) where two separate position 
papers can be written.


PS I'm willing to coordinate the "against", but there are more qualified 
people on this list for that.

Michael Tiemann wrote:
> Last December the SocialText folks made the decision to submit their
> licnese for review, which we appreciate.  The license-discuss list has
> been full of discussion, but that discussion has not yet been reduced to
> a coherent argument either for or against.  Rather, we have heard many
> many opinions as to what one person does or doesn't like about the
> SocialText license, attribution in general, or positions that others
> have advanced for or against either topic.
> As I see it right now, either the OSI Board can attempt to pick up all
> these disparate pieces, try to place them together (where they fit)
> separate them (where they conflict) and then judge whether one position
> or another is more compelling in light of the OSD.  That's an easy task
> when all the pieces fit together and all land strongly to one side.
> In the case of the SocialText license, I feel there's significant risk
> that if we take on the responsibility of making the arguments, we may
> create a bias that is not faithful to the real arguments you want to
> make.  Therefore, we'd like to invite those who think we should not
> approve the SocialText license to work out a common position on *why* we
> should not approve it, which could inform how SocialText could remedy
> your concerns.  And we'd like to invite those who think we should
> approve it (or should approve it with some minor change) to work out a
> common position on why we *should* approve it.  If one or both sides are
> willing to do this, I think that the Board's decision process will
> appear much more transparent.
> One way or another, the Board owes SocialText and the open source
> community a ruling, and we'd like to do as good a job as we can.  If the
> challenge to organize is taken up, we'll set a timetable based on input
> from the position leaders.  If no organization effort is apparent, the
> board will take it upon itself to make the decision by the end of next
> month (which gives time for one meeting to discuss and one meeting to
> decide).  Thanks!
> M

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