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

Lawrence Rosen lrosen at rosenlaw.com
Sat May 25 17:53:18 UTC 2019

> ... calm, rational argument is far more persuasive than bluster any day ...


Pam, I generally agree. But I refer to our U.S. Congress as an example where moderation (with potential censure) is only an extreme remedy for cursing or ad hominem criticism. Beyond that, people need not be too polite. That is boring. We are adults here.


U.S. Constitution, Article 1, Section 2: "The Senators and Representatives... for any Speech or Debate in either House, shall not be questioned in any other Place."


In that context only, I consider your cautionary words "absurd." Every attorney takes a course in "bluster" as an occasional tool for persuasion. Sometimes it even works.


I agree with James that "moderating someone should only be used as a last resort in serious situations, and that it should be transparent."





From: License-discuss <license-discuss-bounces at lists.opensource.org> On Behalf Of Pamela Chestek
Sent: Saturday, May 25, 2019 10:24 AM
To: license-discuss at lists.opensource.org
Subject: Re: [License-discuss] Evolving the License Review process for OSI


On 5/25/2019 11:14 AM, Lawrence Rosen wrote:

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.


Thanks for the kudos, I appreciate it.

I agree that all opinions should be heard, but I want to clarify that you can't say them any way you want. I hope that everyone expresses their opinions with civility and respect, so that those who hold different viewpoints aren't afraid to state their difference of opinion. 

I've seen a few people who have said, essentially, "it's a little rough and tumble, so what, deal with it." But we lose voices that way. Some people with very smart views don't like confrontation, or internalize it as an attack. But we need to make room for them too. I've never heard of a forum where people won't participate because it's too polite (but I'd be interested to hear if there are any). I believe an elbows-out style of engagement is to all of our detriment. We don't need it; calm, rational argument is far more persuasive than bluster any day.


Pamela Chestek 
Chair, License Review Committee 
Open Source Initiative

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