[License-discuss] Proposal to revise (and move?) the CC0 FAQ

Simon Phipps simon at webmink.com
Thu Nov 14 21:49:40 UTC 2013

On Thursday, November 14, 2013, Richard Fontana wrote:

> On Wed, 13 Nov 2013 21:46:22 -0800
> Luis Villa <luis at lu.is <javascript:;>> wrote:
> > Hey, all-
> > I was just looking at the FAQ entry on CC0, and two things jump out:
> >
> >    1. It's extremely odd that we have a FAQ entry about one particular
> >    rejected license, and no others. I would recommend removing this
> > FAQ entry on that grounds.
> I am inclined to agree. John Cowan has said that this is in fact a
> frequently asked question - is that the impression of anyone else?

I'm not sure it is a question frequently asked of OSI, but the impression
CC0 must be an OK open source license is common in my experience.

> > Tangentially, as I pointed out earlier on
> > this list, we probably should maintain a list of rejected licenses,
> > and the reasons for their rejections, so that future license authors
> > (and license-review members!) can refer to those precedents in a
> > useful, non-mythological, manner.
> +1. Although:
> >    2. Whether the CC0 entry stays in the FAQ or moves to a list of
> > rejected licenses,
> CC0 was not rejected per se: it was withdrawn before the OSI board had
> an opportunity to vote on it. (How many licenses have been 'rejected'
> in any official sense?)
> > if it stays anywhere on the site, it should be
> > rewritten to make it neutral and historically accurate; it is neither
> > of those things right now. Any takers? If not, I'll get to it
> > eventually, but I'd love for someone else to tackle it.
> I am not sure there should be a specific FAQ entry on CC0. Maybe one
> unified question and answer on public domain dedications that notes the
> history around CC0.

I don't favour a list of "rejected licenses" for just this reason, but I do
favour a better rendition of our institutional memory so that people
seeking the history of approval of licenses like CC0 or TrueCrypt can
easily find the answer without needing to digest the full archives for the
two licensing mailing lists.

What's needed is an indexed activity catalogue for license approval at OSI.
Perhaps we could raise a work group to prepare such a thing?


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