[License-review] License Committee report

Kyle Mitchell kyle at kemitchell.com
Mon Nov 12 20:11:13 UTC 2018

On 2018-11-12 17:11, Smith, McCoy wrote:
> >>-----Original Message-----
> >>From: License-review [mailto:license-review-bounces at lists.opensource.org] On Behalf Of Richard Fontana
> >>Sent: Monday, November 12, 2018 3:37 AM
> >>To: license-review at lists.opensource.org
> >>Subject: [License-review] License Committee report
> >>License Zero Reciprocal Public License
> <snip>
> >>Each of these drafts was discussed pretty extensively on
> >>license-review, with active involvement of the license
> >>submitter. To the extent that there was any consensus
> >>view, I would say it was negative (McCoy Smith described
> >>it as "neutral to negative - though hard to
> >>see where the consensus landed"
> ...
> I for one see LZPL and SSPL as very similar in the issues
> they raise in those areas and think they should be
> probably get an up or down decision together.

I agree there's some overlap.  That's why I've participated
in SSPL debate.  But I strongly recommend _against_ coupling
the two licenses, substance-wise or process-wise.

First, they differ significantly.  In a nutshell, SSPL isn't
as strong as L0-R at its strongest, and SSPL selectively
applies copyleft to miss certain use cases, while L0-R was
strong-copyleft through and through.  If participants would
like me to flesh out the differences, language-wise,
design-wise, and application-wise, I can put that on my

Second, process.  As the last to submit an evolved
strong-copyleft license to this list, the last thing I'd
want, in Mongo's position, would be to get involuntarily
tied up with a prior, controversial license that I didn't
write, different in many crucial respects from my own, just
when Richard recommends it for rejection.  Feels a bit like
guilt by association.  To be clear, I've no professional or
working relationship with Mongo.

As for me and my house, I'm no longer interested in OSI
approval.  I wasn't expecting to be part of any report, and
might have continued differently if I had.  In the future,
if someone else wants to propose L0-R or its successor back
into OSI, I'll support them.  I won't rule out doing so
myself, if circumstances change.  But it's become apparent
to me both that my licensors don't care about OSI approval,
and that at least some here on license-review don't care to
debate any more.

If it's clear that I or someone else can resubmit a
successor license, and that taking L0-R off the table now
will focus SSPL debate, I'm open to withdrawing or
suspending my submission, whatever the process may be.  I
don't like it, but I think I'd like it better than wondering
which license we're discussing on the SSPL thread from here
on out.

Kyle Mitchell, attorney // Oakland // (510) 712 - 0933

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