[License-review] Submission of OSET Public License for Approval

Lawrence Rosen lrosen at rosenlaw.com
Fri Sep 4 23:51:05 UTC 2015

There is nobody more qualified than Heather Meeker to shepherd the creation
of a new open source license. She's an expert. 


Intelligent and serious consideration went into the OSET Public License
(OPL). After a detailed review by this OSI license-review@ committee and
perhaps some slight modifications by its authors, this license will almost
certainly be approved. 


What concerns me still, though, is how this new license will be absorbed by
the open source community and by election officials around the world.
Heather correctly criticized me earlier for arguing that this new license is
addressing "a non-existent problem." Actually, it is mostly adding to an
existing difficult problem. 


David Webber here accurately described "an open source solution stack for a
typical voting solution today [that[ includes a whole raft of licenses." Any
government agency that intends to acquire an open source election system
will inevitably require components such as an operating system, database,
printer and scanner drivers, and a main voting software module, presumably
under a cornucopia of licenses including Apache, MPL, ECL, GPL, and a whole
lot of BSD. We expect FOSS and commercial add-ons that aggregate with that
election stuff. 


Add to this one more open source license. 


We'll also have to wait for all the potentially interested developer
foundations and commercial distributors and customers to understand if the
new license is compatible with what they are already doing - specifically
for derivative works. 


Does anyone here believe that a new open source license will cure the
existing confusion among government agencies that already engage in FOSS


As for me, I'm personally rather bored with evaluating (yet another) open
source license, so I leave the rest of that fun discussion to everyone else.


Have a great holiday weekend!




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