[License-review] License drafting quality and process [was Re: Comment on MOSL and similar licenses]

Clark C. Evans cce at clarkevans.com
Sat Jun 1 11:38:10 UTC 2013

What if the "discussion" part of the process were mandatory  -- the
first step would be a "need" validation on license-discuss by posting a
synopsis that outlines the "real world" licensing problem being
addressed and why other licenses are inadequate.   

The discussion could then be focused on validating if this "need" is
consistent with the vision of the OSI.   If so, then the participant
could be *invited* to submit their license design and perhaps even
official legally prepared license text to license-review.  

Once the need is validated and a proposed license requested, then we
could talk about how the license should be drafted.  I'd say that crayon
licenses often result when someone doesn't understand their needs or
those needs are poorly articulated.  I'm reluctant to shut down good
ideas, just because the submitter doesn't have $10k spare cash to throw
at an attorney.  In other words, asking for varnish isn't going to help
when the wood is rotten.

Broadly speaking, when I engage on the -discuss list discussing
licensing issues, I get very useful and helpful feedback.   Simply
validating that this is an acceptable (if encouraged) route to approval
might stem poorly researched "hit-and-run" license requests.  



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