[License-discuss] License licenses

Kevin P. Fleming kevin+osi at km6g.us
Fri May 31 17:44:41 UTC 2019

I don't mean to be abrasive here, but this thread demonstrates one of
the problems with the license-discuss/review mailing lists. It's not
unique to these lists, but solving it requires discipline.

Please try to stay on topic. Patrick started this thread with a very
straightforward request for license stewards to provide information
about their licenses, and now the thread is rehashing preferences for
one license over another, OSL vs. GPL, etc, and hypothesizing what a
future OSL could be. None of that is inappropriate for this list, but
it's off topic for this thread, and that makes it harder for people
who want to participate in specific discussions to do so. As a regular
Discourse user, I can say that this is one *huge* benefit of that tool
over regular mailing lists: threads can be split off into separate
topics, so that readers and others can follow the topics they care
about and don't have to wade through things they don't care about.
Yes, the 'delete' key is right there, and it's not hard to press it,
but when someone posts a message which is both on-topic and off-topic
(as happens often), readers have no choice but to read through it all
to find the parts that are relevant.

On Fri, May 31, 2019 at 11:27 AM John Cowan <cowan at ccil.org> wrote:
> On Fri, May 31, 2019 at 1:11 AM James <purpleidea at gmail.com> wrote:
>> FWIW, I only consider about five different licenses for new projects.
>> Not because they're necessarily better than OSL (I never investigated
>> that deeply) but because I am against license proliferation, and the
>> existing five are good enough.
> I have a more specific reason for disliking the OSL.  The GPL creates a separate commons from
> all the permissive open source licenses together because any programs with GPL components
> must (according to common understanding) be released under the GPL.  In fact there are
> two such commons, one for GPL-2-only and the other for GPL-2-upgradeable plus GPL-3.
> The OSL also creates its own commons, one that is never going to catch up in size and richness
> with the GPL's.  Furthermore, there is a separate commons for the Non-Profit OSL, and apparently
> for each version of both.  Therefore I would always discourage people from using it despite its impeccable
> FLOSS Buddha-nature.  This does *not* apply to the AFL.
> But if 1(c) in both the OSL and the NPOSLwere modified in a new version 4 from:
>> with the proviso that copies of Original Work or Derivative Works that You distribute or communicate shall be licensed under this Open Software License
> to:
>> with the proviso that copies of Original Work shall be licensed under this Open Software License, and Derivative Works that You distribute or communicate shall be licensed either any version of this Open Software License or of the Non-Profit Open Software
>> License or in the alternative under any version of the GNU General Public License
> (or words to that effect), I would withdraw my objection.
> This can already be achieved on a case-by-case basis by multiple-licensing language like "licensed under the
> OSL version 3.0 or, at the user's option, under any later version of the OSL, under the GNU GPL version 2, or
> any later version of the GNU GPL", but most people aren't going to bother with that.  I'd like it to be an
> inherent part of the OSL.
> John Cowan          http://vrici.lojban.org/~cowan        cowan at ccil.org
> Normally I can handle panic attacks on my own; but panic is, at the moment,
> a way of life.                 --Joseph Zitt
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