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

Patrice-Emmanuel Schmitz pe.schmitz at googlemail.com
Thu Jun 6 12:58:24 UTC 2013

Requiring evidence of 100+ projects using a new proposed license may indeed
be beneficial mainly to bodies, i.e. governments discovering (-
eventually!) the real opportunity of FLOSS distribution. However, this is a
current trend in FLOSS evolution: the best license (I mean legally, forged
in universities by the most competent authors) has few utility without a
large community of followers. Other criteria are possible (i.e. support
from a FLOSS foundation). Two baskets would allow to reduce a little bit
the list in the current unique basket...

2013/6/6 Richard Fontana <fontana at sharpeleven.org>

> On Thu, Jun 06, 2013 at 12:34:08PM +0200, Patrice-Emmanuel Schmitz wrote:
> [...]
> > Another suggestion would be to deliver more rapidly a simple
> "certificate of
> > OSD compliance" which would be a first step. OSI approval would be given
> only
> > as a second step, i.e. once the steward bring the evidence (names +
> URLs) that
> > a minimum number of projects (100, 250, 500?) are published under his
> license.
> I agreed with a good deal of your first suggestion (snipped) but not
> with this one. Requiring evidence of 100+ projects using a proposed
> license will have the same chilling effect against further reform and
> evolution of open source licensing.
> There is a bit of a chicken/egg problem, as the absence of OSI
> approval may significantly deter projects *independent of the steward*
> from choosing the new license. Indeed this is a primary reason why the
> OSI remains a socially influential organization. The likely result is
> that the only new licenses that will be submitted for review are
> updates of already-approved licenses associated with well-established
> FLOSS organizations, or else, perhaps, new or updated licenses
> introduced by sufficiently powerful non-FLOSS institutions with the
> ability to mandate mass adoption of some particular new license (as,
> for example, by legislative or regulatory fiat).
> - RF
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Patrice-Emmanuel Schmitz
pe.schmitz at googlemail.com
tel. + 32 478 50 40 65
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