License Committee Report for September 2008

Russ Nelson nelson at
Wed Nov 5 06:48:16 UTC 2008

Alex Wang writes:
 > I hereby request someone who is the delegate of OSI to discuss whether our
 > new license has fixed the problem specified by OSI.

It has.  However, OSI's practice is to cite only one reason to reject
a license.  Upon rejection, the license author should go back to
license-review and find out how to write a license that will comply
with the Open Source Definition.  Several people have told you how you
can do that.  You choose to argue with them and insist that your way
is the only way, and that OSI MUST approve your license.

The general concept (preventing people from making modifications to
your software (for whatever reason)) is not acceptable in the Open
Source community.  We know that, and we've been trying to tell you
that.  It's not about the Open Source Definition.  Like any written
document it's a flawed representation of an idea (all written
documents are flawed).  The people here understand the idea, and are
trying to help you understand it.  Do you argue with your science
teachers?  "No, no, it's three hundred and TEN megameters per second."

The problem here is that you want to prohibit modifications for a good
reason.  If we let you do that, then it's likely that someone will
come along and want to prohibit modifications for a bad reason.  If
we've let you prohibit modifications, what do we say to them?  Since
prohibiting modifications is a bad idea, we'd do better to not allow
such prohibitions.  And we don't.

--my blog is at   | Delegislation is a slippery
Crynwr sells support for free software  | PGPok | slope to prosperity.
521 Pleasant Valley Rd. | +1 315-323-1241       | Fewer laws, more freedom.
Potsdam, NY 13676-3213  |     Sheepdog          | (Not a GOP supporter).

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