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

Richard Fontana fontana at sharpeleven.org
Wed Jun 5 06:11:14 UTC 2013

On Tue, Jun 04, 2013 at 10:33:33PM -0700, Luis Villa wrote:
> On Thu, May 30, 2013 at 2:13 PM, Richard Fontana
> <fontana at sharpeleven.org> wrote:
> >
> > I don't think that category can be screened out (prior to discussion
> > on a list like this). I wonder whether the other category could be
> > screened out by requiring some threshold number of supporters > 1 (as
> > an alternative to the suggestion of getting legal review).
> By "supporter" do you mean +1s to this list? A community specific to
> the license (such as the one you've created for copyleft-next)? A
> functional software community affiliated with/supporting the license
> (e.g., as Mozilla/Eclipse did for their licenses)?
> I think I had the second or third options in mind with my earlier
> proposals, but would be open to discussing the first if people think
> that would be fruitful/workable.

I was thinking of a community specific to the license. It needn't be a
big community, maybe just a few reasonable people, but some credible
showing that there's more than one person who supports the submission
of the license for OSI approval. 

Where the license is associated with an organization, such as a
particular foundation which is the license steward of a 'later
version' license, this requirement ought to mean that some people
outside the foundation should indicate support for the license. Oddly
the FSF's v3 family met this requirement in 2007 because those
licenses had to be submitted by non-FSF people (because the FSF would
have never submitted them for OSI approval). CC0 is an example of a
license (or quasi-license) that would have easily met this
requirement, as it was initially people outside of Creative Commons
who were urging its submission for OSI approval prior to the formal
submission by Chris Webber who was, at the time, affiliated with CC.

So I guess I mean the second option. Not mere +1s on this list
(license-review) by people who haven't previously reviewed the license
prior to its submission. Perhaps license-discuss could become one
medium for attracting potential 'community' members.

- RF

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