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

Bruce Perens bruce at perens.com
Sat May 25 17:51:17 UTC 2019

Larry, the standards engagement is off-topic for this list so I will do
this briefly. I resigned the position some time ago because of my job
change, and am waiting for someone whom OSI feels to be acceptable to step
into the role. Since this is about the patent issue, that may not be you.
The engagement is no picnic and a person based in California will be
attending 6 AM meetings regularly.

Like Rick, I felt the "bullying" accusation was over the top. Way over the
top. And I believe what we are seeing here is not enforcing civility but Tone
Policing <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tone_policing>. To quote Pamela:
"However, what I sometimes find problematic is your tone and

I want to go over the issue of working with the license submitter, since
Pamela felt I had misrepresented Van's presentation. This isn't
particularly about Van, it's about anyone who submits a license, and also
about the occupation of attorney.

In the standards engagement, we are working with an attorney long known to
Simon and I for his work on Open Source at companies, who worked with Simon
at one company and was a regular presenter at an Open Source seminar that I
helped to create. Now, he's on the other side of the issue for his present
employer, and has been asserting that Open Source is about copyright only,
and that explicitly asking for patent royalties is compatible with Open
Source, even when it's done directly by the licensor. He even asserted that
Richard Stallman intended for Free Software to include a carve-out for
patents, and I think you can all agree that's absurd. He has commissioned
reports on this that IMO are falsifications of fact, which have been
presented to an international standards body and work to our detriment.

It's this fellows job to represent his employer to the best of his ability
and to tell the story that is most advantageous to them. He is not under
oath, and I don't believe that even outright lies are out of scope for him.
Similarly, I believe that license submitters will tell the story as it is
most advantageous to them, and that attorneys are honor bound to represent
their clients to the best of their ability, even if that involves
rhetorical trickery, etc. This is simply part of the engagement, and as
reviewers we should keep in mind that lawyers don't agree on significant
issues, and that what is told us can't always be counted upon.



On Sat, May 25, 2019 at 8:21 AM Lawrence Rosen <lrosen at rosenlaw.com> wrote:

> Bruce, I am disappointed to hear your complaint about the recent changes
> to the OSI license discussion and review process. I don't see that as an
> offense to you. I am sorry you are taking it so poorly.
> But now, perhaps, you can appreciate my disappointment when I first
> learned, several months ago, that you have been representing OSI in their
> open standards activities. There are several others on this list (including
> me) who are more knowledgeable and experienced than you in this arena. For
> example, Scott Peterson is an expert at this, and his skills at this are
> more than those of the two of us put together – despite the fact that I
> occasionally consider his opinions to be absurd, and vice versa. It is
> important for OSI to let us know who speaks on their behalf. That is
> another reason why I liked Pam's recent email.
> As for list moderation, I believe that this and other open source lists go
> way too far when they impose strict codes of conduct. I am an even greater
> fan of free speech than I am of free software. If you send too many emails,
> that is why God created the delete key. If anyone thinks that words like
> "absurd" deserve censure, then it is *they* who need a spine implant.
> I also want to commend Pam Chestek for her calm and reasoned explanation
> of OSI's new license approval process. It is far more helpful than the
> mysterious processes that preceded it. I wish OSI success with this new
> protocol.
> Best, /Larry
> This email is licensed under CC-BY-4.0
> <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/>. Please copy freely.  [image:
> https://licensebuttons.net/l/by/4.0/88x31.png]

Bruce Perens - Partner, OSS.Capital.
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