[License-discuss] Greetings, Earthlings! Need quotes for article

Jeremy C. Reed reed at reedmedia.net
Mon Dec 19 15:42:16 UTC 2011

On Mon, 19 Dec 2011, Robin 'Roblimo' Miller wrote:

> Tentative title: Are 69 Open Source Licenses Enough?

69 is way too few. In my little research of just around 600 man pages I 
found over 100 different licenses -- mostly due to slight wording 

> My questions:
> Do we really need that many open source licenses?


> Is there any way to consolidate some of them, which would make life simpler
> for a whole lot of people? Or does each one of these licenses serve an
> essential purpose for someone (or some company)?

One way projects (like NetBSD) have consolidated licenses is to ask 
copyright owners if they can change their license text to standard 
boilerplate (or if they can re-assign the copyright and use a standard 

But there is no easy way for this. Changing old codes' licenses is 
difficult to near impossible due to difficulty to finding owners.

Some copyright owners are stubborn and may respond negatively even on a 
polite request.

In the case of significant license changes (such as MIT style changed to 
copyleft), I find it bad taste (and a little dishonest) if code 
contributors over the years shared patches because they knew the license 
was of a certain type of copyright.

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