[License-discuss] proposal to revise and slightly reorganize the OSI licensing pages

Ben Tilly btilly at gmail.com
Tue Jun 12 02:52:32 UTC 2012

On Mon, Jun 11, 2012 at 7:11 PM, Rick Moen <rick at linuxmafia.com> wrote:
> Quoting Ben Tilly (btilly at gmail.com):
>> If a license does what I want 90% of the time quite well, and fails
>> 10% of the time, is it better or worse than a license that does
>> something you find merely OK 100% of the time?
> Mu.  The premise is defective.


> If the licence doesn't grant the rights you wish granted, then it is
> defective 100% of the time.

If the license dissuades people that you would like to have using your
software, it is also defective.  Legalese that says exactly what you
want said is excess verbiage in your license that will cause some
people to ignore your software because they don't want to deal with
analyzing the license.

Licenses have multiple potential failure modes.  Not all of which
happen in a court room.  There is value in standardized licenses.
There is value in simple licenses.  Sometimes this value outweighs the
value of having said *exactly* what you want said.

> Failing to grant the rights you wish to grant might be evidenced by,
> e.g., 10% of the recipients behaving in ways you intended to disallow,
> but your chosen terms allowed this, and yet you are surprised.

"Don't like" and "intend to disallow" are not equivalent.

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