[License-discuss] "Fairness" vs. mission objectives

Richard Fontana rfontana at redhat.com
Tue Feb 25 19:55:21 UTC 2020

On Tue, Feb 25, 2020 at 2:18 PM VanL <van.lindberg at gmail.com> wrote:

> On the flip side, I think there should be an affirmative effort to certify licenses - such as those identified via the SPDX project - even without affirmative submission. Most of them will not be controversial. We want to reach a world in which we have looked at all the source-available licenses and made a determination as to their OSD conformance. This strengthens the OSD as a tool for measuring licenses.

Agreed! In theory I suppose the "legacy approval" process could be
used for this, but it has depended on someone taking the initiative to
submit a license for approval and has been invoked only rarely. I
would love to see the OSI recognize some category of certification for
the hundreds of licenses in actual active use in, for example, Linux
distributions, more often than not simple legacy noncopyleft licenses
from the 1980s and 1990s, which uncontroversially meet OSD/software
freedom criteria but which would likely never be submitted for
approval by a (typically nonexistent) license steward, or which would
have traditionally been discouraged on anti-proliferation grounds. Far
better than focusing on so-called "crayon" and thought-experiment
licenses, which until relatively recently characterized a lot of the
submissions to license-review.


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