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

Josh Berkus josh at postgresql.org
Thu May 30 19:52:33 UTC 2013

Luis, All:

Personally, I don't have a problem with making legal review a de facto
requirement of submitting a new license.  It's a good threshold of
seriousness for developers wanting to craft their own licenses.  While
the goals of not imposing financial barriers to licensing are all nice
and public-minded, every single license I've seen submitted to this list
without prior legal help over the last 2 years was a complete waste of
time, for both us and the submitter.

For the sufficiently determined, there are multiple ways to get legal
help without paying for it personally.  SFLC, SPI, pro-bono help,
corporate sponsors, Kickstarter, etc.  The insufficiently determined
aren't going to their their license through regardless.

Or to put it another way: do we *really* want people creating new
licenses who don't have the organization to raise $1000 to pay an
attorney?  Seems like a recipe for lots of poorl-conceived orphan
licenses, if you ask me.

Now, in the best of all possible worlds, OSI would have some way to
provide legal review assistance.  Failing that, we could simply provide
a referral page, where attorneys and organizations who did this sort of
thing could list themselves.

--Josh Berkus

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