[License-discuss] Open source license chooser choosealicense.com launched.

Bradley M. Kuhn bkuhn at ebb.org
Fri Aug 23 16:20:23 UTC 2013

Lawrence Rosen wrote at 16:47 (EDT) on Tuesday:
> 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.

The main "community" problem with proliferation is license
incompatibility.  Mozilla Foundation and the FSF did some great work
together to reconcile the compatibility issues of the two most popular
copylefts.  We need to ensure that future license fit in the main
compatibility, which I view as (from weakest copyleft to strongest):

ISC => 2-clause-BSD => permissive-MIT License => Apache License => MPL => LGPL => GPL => Affero GPL

If new licenses can't drop in somewhere along that spectrum, it's a
proliferation problem, IMO.

I suspect, however, that for-profit corporate folks would disagree with
this as the primary problem here.  I know that company's legal department
really want to keep the license texts they must review quite low, and ISTR
that was the biggest complaint about license proliferation from for-profit

It's hard to blame newcomers for wanting to draft their own licenses, as
I think it's highly difficult to become part of the Free Software license
policy discussion about existing licenses in practice *even* for
would-be insiders.
   -- bkuhn

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