[License-discuss] Fact-gathering on OSI-approved licenses

Pamela Chestek pamela.chestek at opensource.org
Mon Aug 19 20:13:38 UTC 2019

 Hi everyone,

We've had a lot of discussion about the attributes of open source
licenses and what is and isn't acceptable. I thought historical data on
approved licenses might prove valuable, or at least interesting. I
prepared a spreadsheet that lists all the OSI-approved licenses, with
columns for some attributes that have been heavily discussed recently.
It is at

I'm hoping people will be interested in helping fill it out. I suggest
as the first step that we take a look and see whether the headings are
sufficiently clear and whether we should be recording any further
information. My goal was to limit data collection to the current areas
of discussion, not do a comprehensive review of all the possible
variables in open source licenses. Column E was meant to capture the
non-copyright, non-patent "yeah, that's ok" stuff that we commonly see
in licenses and that isn't noteworthy. Once we've settled on the form we
can start filling it in.

I don't want the spreadsheet to be a place for arguing the merits, just
a place for fact-gathering. I also don't know what will happen once we
have gathering the information, but I do believe gathering the
information is the first step.


Pamela Chestek
Chair, License Review Committee
Open Source Initiative

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