[License-review] For Legacy Approval: LBNL BSD

Richard Fontana rfontana at redhat.com
Wed May 22 01:46:50 UTC 2019

On Sat, May 18, 2019 at 2:37 PM Richard Fontana <rfontana at redhat.com> wrote:
> On Fri, May 17, 2019 at 9:48 AM Kevin P. Fleming <kevin+osi at km6g.us> wrote:
> >
> > The request is for "legacy" aprpoval, and if approved that will mean
> > that usage of the license is discouraged, right?
>  Something I had overlooked: I gather from re-reading Sebastian's
> initial post that LBNL is continuing to use this license. If so, why
> is it appropriate for "Legacy" approval?  I had the sense that Legacy
> Approval was for licenses that were no longer in active use but for
> which OSI approval was for whatever reason considered desirable.

I believe I have been somewhat misinformed about the nature of legacy
approval. The OSI website says legacy approval is for "Retroactive
approval of historic/legacy licenses that have already been
extensively used by an existing community, but have not previously
been approved." It does *not* imply that a license is no longer in
active use (in the sense I was thinking -- for example, continuing to
use the license for nontrivial quantities of new code). See:
https://opensource.org/approval. I do not think the OSI actually
discourages use of legacy approval licenses, beyond what the OSI
generally recommends around avoiding license proliferation and
choosing licenses that are widely used and so forth.

So legacy approval does appear to be appropriate for LBNL BSD (if the
license otherwise meets the standard for OSI approval).

I now have some misgivings about the way the OSI has characterized the
nature of legacy approval, which I may comment on on license-discuss
as they do not specifically concern LBNL BSD.


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