[License-discuss] FAQ entry for slight variations in licenses?

Richard Fontana fontana at sharpeleven.org
Fri Mar 8 02:03:53 UTC 2013

On Thu, Mar 07, 2013 at 05:01:03PM -0600, Karl Fogel wrote:
> "Many older licenses have a variety of minor variations in the
> language. Unfortunately, it is not possible for OSI to review every
> variation, so we cannot say if a given variation is approved.  However,
> if you have a competent lawyer review the variation and you conclude
> that it is minor and could not possibly have any legal signifance, in
> terms of the license being compatible with the Open Source Definition,
> then if you use that license and call the licensed software 'open
> source', there is at least a possibility that any subsequent discussion
> with the OSI about it would go well.  Please use good judgement and be
> conservative in this situation."
> Not terribly much more meaningful, really, but maybe enough for most
> people to work with & do what they need to do? :-)
> Comments, missiles welcome...

One missile: The idea that you would need a lawyer, competent or
otherwise, to be involved in such review, though personally appealing
from a guild-aggrandizement standpoint, seems highly dubious, and
probably sends the wrong message.

 - RF

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