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

Lawrence Rosen lrosen at rosenlaw.com
Mon May 27 22:33:22 UTC 2019

Pam, I said this to Bruce and the list: "Yes, OSI must do more to educate the public, but your remarks make our community stupid."


This is not about Bruce, whom I clearly stated I respect still. I have had a long and mostly positive relationship with him over the years. It is about his oft-repeated comments that (1) only three open source licenses are needed and (2) non-lawyers can and should comment about legal matters without at least respecting the good faith of the lawyers who drafted those other licenses. Blaming their drafting on their relationships with their clients is insulting. That is OSI's problem, and those responsible for license-discuss should point that out repeatedly. 


And if I hear one more person here say that AGPL is the only important or relevant license for network applications, or that the BSD license is good enough while the Apache license and others are available, while OSI says nothing about the truth, I'll scream silently to myself. Once again, it will be OSI failing to undertake its declared mission of educating the public.


I hardly ever any longer comment here or elsewhere about new licenses, except when stupid things are said about them and I hear no defensive remarks from other lawyers. THAT silent scream you might want to witness. 


Just criticizing Bruce wasn't my purpose; he is not alone here. I said nothing ad hominem in my email. However, I'm comfortable if a few lightning bolts strike at Bruce anyway because HE was the one who repeated and repeated and repeated those absurd comments here. I didn't spend 20 years here promoting the submission of new licenses with new legal ideas to have OSI tolerate badmouthing about more than 90% of them. Too bad Bruce thinks that lawyers and computer scientists and medical doctors who earn credentials to express expert (but perhaps wrong) opinions are merely snobs, while his Open Source Definition is the unalterable ten commandments of open source.



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