[License-review] Non-binding straw poll: Do you think CC0 should be approved?

Richard Fontana rfontana at redhat.com
Fri Mar 2 07:51:50 UTC 2012

On Fri, Mar 02, 2012 at 12:21:04AM -0600, Karl Fogel wrote:
> Now, the approval process is not a matter of majority vote, but still
> I'm curious to see how many people felt the 4a objection (or any other
> problem) was serious enough to warrant rejection, and how many would
> approve anyway.  Knowing these ratios would help us determine whether to
> continue investigating, perhaps by bringing in some more legal
> expertise.  (For example, one thing I wanted to do, but didn't have
> time, was bring in the people at the FSF who evaluated CC0 and hear
> their reasoning.)
> If you wish to participate in this straw poll, please follow up to this
> mail with "+1" if you think CC0 should be approved, or "-1" *followed by
> the reason* if you don't think it should be approved.

I must vote "-1" given how the issue has been presented.

The OSI should not be in the business of rubber-stamping submitted
licenses, and I think the OSI should be attempting to judge submitted
licenses against *something* -- some principle, some standard. You
seem to be suggesting, as others have, that the OSD *is* at least
partly what submitted licenses are supposed to be measured against,
which is one of the questions I had earlier asked the OSI to
confirm. Perhaps there is still some question as to whether the actual
content of the OSD matters, or whether the OSD has come to mean
something more general or ceremonial than its actual rather specific

I vote -1 because, until the OSI says otherwise, I still assume that
the text of the OSD is what primarily guides the OSI license approval
process, and I do not believe that the consistency of CC0 with the OSD
has been adequately explained, particularly with respect to the
relationship between CC0 4a and OSD 7. Nor have I seen any effort to
explain why the de facto rejection of the MXM license is consistent
with approval of CC0, given the similarity of the issues raised *and*
the strength of the opinions in opposition to the MXM license. Summary
approvals of licenses by OSI should no longer be appropriate.

I suppose my further concern is that without such adequate rationale
for approval, it looks like approval may be based on factors that
perhaps ought to be illegitimate (or else ought to be disclosed by OSI
as legitimate factors for consideration), such as the status of the
license steward.

- Richard

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