[License-discuss] Evolving the License Review process for OSI

Christopher Sean Morrison brlcad at mac.com
Mon Jun 10 14:04:32 UTC 2019

> On Jun 8, 2019, at 9:21 AM, Thorsten Glaser <tg at mirbsd.de> wrote:
> Desert island, chinese dissident… or even simple things
> such as, a code hosting platform in Russian or Japanese
> which is not discoverable for _you_.

I think we’re talking past each other.  I can trivially pull up foreign content on search with the right engines and terms, if they’re actually available on the Internet at all.  Exclusive non-Internet availability would be an interesting consideration, but arguably unnecessary w.r.t. being considered conventionally available, and unlikely with any on the current list.

I don’t see value in the hypothetical.  I look at the current list of licenses, I do not see one that would likely be only found under limited access.  One might think the special purpose licenses good candidates, but I was able to find several of them trivially.

The question (as I originally understood it) is whether there are any OSI licenses where use cannot be found, which to me is not academic.  We don’t need to find all instances.  We don’t need to determine whether a use is notable or even active at this point.  Just whether use exists.

> On Jun 10, 2019, at 1:44 AM, Rick Moen <rick at linuxmafia.com> wrote:
> Quoting Christopher Sean Morrison via License-discuss (license-discuss at lists.opensource.org):
>> Code under an Open Source license that is not publicly available might
>> as well not be.  
> Objection:  Thorsten didn't speak of code that lacks public
> availability.

I didn’t say he did.  He commented on a potential lack of public hosting as grounds for “absolutely not even [coming] close to checking whether a license is in use”.  I commented on the general notion of public availability and discoverability as being sufficient.  They are related, but I am not putting words in his mouth.  Ditto to the second objection.

To me, it would be an absurd argument to suggest not even trying to determine if a license is in use (anywhere) because it might only be used in some obscure really hard to find place on the dark web or in an isolated pocket of the Internet in China.  I look at the list of OSI licenses, and frankly would be surprised if any of them do not have a trivially discoverable use.

What I would expect is all but a handful are really trivial, and then a more productive conversation (and more rigorous discovery) could be made with those few.


More information about the License-discuss mailing list