[License-discuss] Open source license chooser choosealicense.com launched.
lrosen at rosenlaw.com
Tue Aug 20 20:47:34 UTC 2013
Pamela Chestek wrote:
> I'm still having a hard time reconciling this with the also-held belief
> license proliferation is bad.
Perhaps, but the license proliferation issue is not quite helpful when
phrased that way. It isn't that MORE licenses are necessarily bad. Instead,
say that the proliferation of BAD (or "me-too" or "un-templated" or "legally
questionable") licenses is bad.
Perhaps we might conclude that there aren't enough GOOD licenses on the
various Recommended lists.
The problem on this discussion forum is that hardly anyone (including me!)
is qualified to tell the difference between GOOD and BAD licenses, since
that depends more on the client's needs than the recommender's
> I think instead you want licenses to be readily adopted based on decision
> about the major substantive aspects and the rest of it just falls where it
> And the major substantive aspects are what is captured in the summary.
Go ahead and write license summaries. That may be useful. I've done that for
my own licenses and even for some licenses I didn't create. But don't try
to make it seem a trivial matter for software developers to license their
software by giving them a simple-minded license chooser. That's less than
helpful. If a lawyer posted such a license chooser that didn't consider the
unique requirements of the client, it might be considered legal malpractice.
Unless there were so many disclaimers as to make it useless advice on other
From: Pamela Chestek [mailto:pamela at chesteklegal.com]
Sent: Monday, August 19, 2013 6:54 AM
To: license-discuss at opensource.org
Subject: Re: [License-discuss] Open source license chooser
On 8/18/2013 10:21 PM, Richard Fontana wrote:
> I really believe it is best for anyone to try to read the actual
> license in question. A summary can be a reasonable starting point, but
> it especially bothers me if it is distorted (as I think it may almost
> always be) by political or cultural bias.
This can be fixed. Github has asked for patches and no one has reported
having a patch rejected.
> Also, if a license is really
> too difficult to understand, that is itself useful (for the would-be
> licensor and for the license steward) to find out.
I'm still having a hard time reconciling this with the also-held belief that
license proliferation is bad. So you would like people to read and
comprehend, we'll say conservatively the 11 "Popular Licenses," and find one
that has the major substantive aspects they want but that also does not have
any aspect that could use some tweaking for their own business model -- say,
for example, a delayed release date of source code, which will mean they
will write another license, or find another obscure license that does what
they want but is obscure for a reason.
I think instead you want licenses to be readily adopted based on decision
about the major substantive aspects and the rest of it just falls where it
falls. And the major substantive aspects are what is captured in the
Pamela S. Chestek, Esq.
PO Box 2492
Raleigh, NC 27602
pamela at chesteklegal.com
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