Request for approval: EUPL (European Union Public Licence)
chuck at codefab.com
Mon Mar 17 20:10:43 UTC 2008
On Mar 16, 2008, at 4:34 PM, Rishab Ghosh wrote:
> i do want to make a more general comment, this time as a board
> member. it is one thing to only approve licences in english, because
> we do not have the capacities to study licences in other languages.
> to reject a licence because it is also available in other languages,
> however, is to say that open source should only be used and
> distributed by people who understand (and whose lawyers understand
> and work with) english. it is to say that the several countries, not
> just in europe, who require their governments to issue legal
> documents in national languages - a perfectly reasonable requirement
> and a matter of law in several places - cannot develop or distribute
> open source software.
> it is true that open source is largely anglophone in practice - the
> research my group does shows this empirically - but i don't think we
> want the OSI to cement this through its licence approval procedures.
It's obviously true that a non-English license can be compliant with
the Open Source Definition, and it's also clearly true that people
using non-English languages can and do develop and distribute Open
Source software. A lot of source code is written in English because
all or almost all of the widely used computer languages and supporting
libraries/frameworks/etc were written using English keywords. This
being said, the FSF/GNU i18n efforts resulting in gettext/iconv and
translation teams providing localized strings have made very
significant contributions towards making computer software accessible
to people who speak a wide variety of languages.
There is no requirement from the OSI which says we only approve
licenses in English, and I would not agree with the notion that we
should reject non-English licenses by default. However, it isn't
clear whether the license-discuss/license-review groups realistically
can review licenses in languages outside of English-- possibly French,
German, & Spanish might be doable, but being able to read Le Monde
with decent understanding doesn't mean I feel confident of my ability
to parse a French license, for example.
More information about the License-review