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

Luis Villa luis at lu.is
Wed Jun 5 06:22:45 UTC 2013

On Tue, Jun 4, 2013 at 11:11 PM, Richard Fontana
<fontana at sharpeleven.org> wrote:
> 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.

My initial suggestion was intended (though perhaps not well expressed)
to be basically this, "where at least one 'community' member (broadly
defined) is a lawyer".

> 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.

My first impression is that this isn't a terribly useful hurdle - this
is a tight-enough knit community that any reasonably large community
will be able to prompt some non-community member to submit on their
behalf. (Also, technically, submissions should come with a bunch of
information that non-authors probably won't have.) But maybe that's
still enough to help keep down some of the crayonage.


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