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

Richard Fontana fontana at sharpeleven.org
Sun Sep 6 17:51:11 UTC 2015

On Sun, Sep 06, 2015 at 09:34:15AM -0700, Lawrence Rosen wrote:
> I'm concentrating instead on OSET's argument that government agencies need this license in order to properly acquire FOSS election software. If that's a valid fear, our community has some work to do to fix it -- and not necessarily introduce another license to gloss it over.

I will say that I'm rather skeptical of this argument. I don't see how
you can write an open source license that will successfully eliminate
the need for separate procurement transactions. Moreover the existence
of the kinds of procurement-related transaction costs that OSET seems
to be concerned about hasn't been an obstacle to procurement of
GPL-licensed software, in my experience.

Also -- and I think you made a related point -- it seems OSET must be
assuming that the product software stack that will include
OSET-PL-licensed software will not also include any other copyleft (or
maybe specifically GPL)-licensed software, which may be
unrealistic. For example, in the case of a software stack that
includes a Linux-based operating system with some OSET-PL-licensed
software running on top, it would seem nothing is gained from the
special features of the OSET-PL aimed at this procurement concern.

I'm not sure how much of a bearing those observations should have on
whether this licensed is approved by the OSI, though.


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