For Approval: Transitive Grace Period Public Licence, v1.0

Michael Tiemann tiemann at
Sat Feb 21 15:08:28 UTC 2009

On Wed, Feb 18, 2009 at 11:02 AM, Thorsten Glaser <tg at> wrote:

> Russ Nelson dixit:
> >What happens when Microsoft decides that the MS-HUGELY-PROPRIETARY
> >license is OSD-compliant?
> What if it is? You all are human beings too and thusly can err.

Thorsten, you are completely missing the point of Russ's argument.  The
purpose of his counter-factual claim was not to bring into question whether
the OSI would or could make such an error.  The MS-HUGELY-PROPRIETARY
license is specifically constructed so that there is NO WAY, EVER that it
would be OSD compliant nor receive OSI approval.  The point of his argument
was that *if* Microsoft were to make a claim about their license that
ignored the open source community norms and conventions, what then?  It's
about the basis upon which company X decides to make a claim about open
source, to refer to the OSI's authority or to simply assert their own.

> In the end, OSD compliance is determined by the person wondering
> if he can use said piece of work (or his lawyers). Besides, OSD
> compliance affects a licence, whereas the OSI Certified Open
> Source Software™ trademark affects pieces of work.

It is certainly the case that in many situations it makes sense to consult
one's own counsel before undertaking decisions that have legal
implications.  You and I can read the constitutions of our respective
countries, but we would be well advised to consult with counsel before using
some of those rights to their legal limits.  I don't think the less of you
because you want to consult your counsel in addition to reading what the OSI
has to say.  Nor do I think the less of people who read what we say and
decide "well, if it's good enough for the existing $3B USD open source
software community (growing to $19B by 2012 [1]), it's certainly good enough
for me!"



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