[License-discuss] Proposed license decision process

Nicholas Matthew Neft Weinstock nweinsto at qti.qualcomm.com
Thu Dec 13 18:56:50 UTC 2018

I agree.

On the flip side, I would also say that there are be some licenses widely understood to be "Open Source" that would seem to fail a highly literalist reading of the OSD.  

The possibility of unintentionally including licenses as "Open Source" that the community does not view as providing proper software freedom is mostly philosophical.  But the possibility of licenses no longer being "Open Source" could have real-world implications for projects that already use these licenses, as well as the folks who use those projects.  For example, what would it mean to Ubuntu if a portion of the projects in their build suddenly fail OSI's definition of "Open Source Software"?  How would these "formerly Open Source but not any more" licenses even be categorized?


-----Original Message-----
From: Richard Fontana
Sent: Thursday, December 13, 2018 9:17 AM
Subject: [License-discuss] Proposed license decision process

(Just speaking for myself here)

However, the limits of the OSD as a self-sufficient test are becoming more evident. I am concerned about efforts to "game" the OSD, or reduce it to a narrowly-interpreted checklist. I can easily come up with hypothetical licenses that would seem not to fail a highly literalist reading of the OSD, but which historically would never have been *treated* as conforming to the OSD, because of an obvious failure of the license to provide software freedom as traditionally understood in the community. When we see more real-world counterparts to hypothetical licenses like that, what I find often happens is that people use OSD 5/6 as a way of reintroducing consideration of the values and norms that were historically brought to OSI license review. I am sure I am viewing the past in a rosier manner than is actually justified.

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