License Committee Report for April 2009

Ernest Prabhakar ernest.prabhakar at
Wed Apr 1 00:00:57 UTC 2009

Hi Alon,

On Mar 31, 2009, at 4:15 PM, Alon von Bismark wrote:
> Is "the chair of the license approval committee" still in denial to
> accept the WTFPL (<>)

I don't think there's any need to personalize this.  From what I've  
been able to follow (which admittedly isn't everything), the majority  
of commenters were similarly unhappy with the license, and there  
appears to be genuine uncertainty about whether the license is  
sufficiently legally sound to be worthy of inflicting upon the open  
source community.

> as a license fully conforming to the OSD?

Conforming to the OSD is a necessary but not sufficient condition.   
The OSI has both the right and obligation to ensure that approving the  
license is a net benefit to the community, given considerations of  
proliferation, validity, and comprehensibility.

> If so, "the chair of the license approval
> committee" might want to explain his reasoning, apart from the
> hypotetical "cannot be mentioned in polite company" argument, using
> legal concept(s), please. Thank you in advance.

 From what I can tell, either "Do whatever you want" is literally  
true, in which case it offers nothing over public domain --  or, if  
you insist on an international equivalent, CC0:

Or, if it is not _really_ true that I can do whatever I want, it is a  
misleading title, and worthy of rejection on the grounds of potential  

-- Ernie P.
OSI Board Observer

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