[License-review] Encouraging discussion around the technicalities of licensing

Martijn Verburg martijnverburg at gmail.com
Wed Feb 6 10:03:51 UTC 2019

Hi all,

*Background Disclaimer* - I sit on a fair number of industry body boards,
community groups, steering committees etc around the Java ecosystem - so
I'm biased in how I perceive communication.

I’m a newcomer to this list and I’ve mostly been in ‘read-only’ mode so I
can figure out what the list norms are. There is one aspect that I feel as
a collective we could do a little better on, I'll try to explain below.

I’ve seen some really excellent messages and threads clearly explaining why
a license proposal fails a particular OSD clause. It’s been truly
insightful stuff and it's the sort of communication that really makes the
OSI stand out as an entity!

I’ve also seen quite a fair bit of emotive/hostile language used, even
against folks who are new here and come in good faith (yes I feel we should
assume good faith in the first instance). I understand why OSS licensing
and discussions around software freedoms bring out strong feelings, these
topics *matter* and have far-reaching impacts on our industry and even
(dare I say it) our society as a whole.

I’d very much like to see the OSI continue to be held in high regard, whose
members defend the OSD principles with reasoned arguments and even offer
guidance to license authors on how they can meet those principles. I think
if we focus on that in this list we'll get better long term results for the
OSI and the defense of the OSD clauses.

Right, now that I've committed the mailing list sin of the newcomer telling
everyone how to behave.... :-) - I'll happily take
comments/questions/feedback and even some sticks and stones ;-).

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