[License-discuss] history of l-r/org relationship [was Re: [License-review] For Approval: The Cryptographic Autonomy License]

Richard Fontana rfontana at redhat.com
Mon May 13 20:11:00 UTC 2019

On Mon, May 13, 2019 at 3:31 PM Luis Villa <luis at lu.is> wrote:

> As the docs and our practice suggest, the board has always formally been the final decision maker, never the list. But I'm not sure that the distinction matters at all - for submitters, and for the broader open source community, being screened and rejected by a list that is (1) a documented, formal part of the process (2) hosted on opensource.org and (3) has a lot of present and former board members on it is, well, "tantamount to OSI rejecting a license".
> Perhaps there is some important nuance there I'm missing, though.

It's my feeling that engagement (by non-submitters) on license-review
has declined over time (and over a longer period of time if you
consider the license approval portion of license-discuss pre-~2007 or
whenever l-r was created). I wouldn't know how to attempt to measure
that (maybe look at subscriptions and unsubscriptions, and try to
account for variations in the numbers of licenses submitted or under
active consideration during a given time period). But the more
engagement goes down, the harder it is to seriously contend that l-r
is equivalent to a board committee, and indeed the harder it is to
contend that the OSI is just acting in accordance with community
consensus as evidenced by the list. If I'm right about engagement, it
seems consistent with the views you've repeatedly expressed about the
problems with having a mailing list-centered process for reviewing

One possible nuance is that even if the "committee" reaction to a
given license is negative, causing a license submitter not having the
persistence of someone like Jim Wright to withdraw, the reason for
that reaction may itself be unclear or not clearly justified, and
there won't be anything approaching the clear disposition that a vote
to reject a license will have.


> Luis
> _______________________________________________
> License-discuss mailing list
> License-discuss at lists.opensource.org
> http://lists.opensource.org/mailman/listinfo/license-discuss_lists.opensource.org

Richard Fontana
Senior Commercial Counsel
Red Hat, Inc.

More information about the License-discuss mailing list