[License-review] Request - For Approval - Ritchey Permissive License v11

McCoy Smith mccoy at lexpan.law
Mon Feb 15 15:51:51 UTC 2021

The problem with this statement “legal review is one of many characteristics a license can have, that make it worth approval. While my license lacks legal review it brings other qualities to the table, as outlined in my original post” is that licenses are legal instruments, and OSI approval is a mechanism that presents approved licenses to the community as having value as a legal instrument. Under your theory, a submitted license that is unquestionably legally invalid should nevertheless be approved if it has good ideas in it or the submitter feels strongly that it is something they want to use.

You’re more than welcome to attach a legally invalid, harmful, or ineffective legal instrument to your copyrighted work, but the OSI doesn’t want to approve things that have that quality because others might adopt it as well based on that approval.


As I’ve said before, we’re seeing here another example of someone using what they perceive as a loophole (i.e., the approval process doesn’t mandate legal review, it just asks submitters to declare if it was done) to argue they deserve full board review or can ignore community input. I continue to believe there should be a more definitive statement in the approval process about legal review and either requiring it ab initio or requiring if there is some amount of objection from the mailing list to the legal drafting of a submitted license. Something for the new board or the new Executive Director to perhaps consider.


From: License-review <license-review-bounces at lists.opensource.org> On Behalf Of J. Ritchey
Sent: Sunday, February 14, 2021 5:44 PM
To: License submissions for OSI review <license-review at lists.opensource.org>
Subject: Re: [License-review] Request - For Approval - Ritchey Permissive License v11


I would like to apologize, but it seems some of my responses are getting directed to peoples' emails, instead of the board, even though I've been using the "reply" button. If you received any emails directly from me, my apologies. I don't know why some of my emails are doing this, when others aren't. I'm new to email boards, and thought reply would send them to "license-review at lists.opensource.org <mailto:license-review at lists.opensource.org> ". I'm going through my responses trying to find which ones need to be re-sent to the correct address. This is one such message below. Hopefully it ends up in the right place.


I've read enough previous reviews on here to know that some members feel strongly that licenses should require legal review before they can be submitted for review, but presently it's not a requirement. So my submission has just as might right to be reviewed here as any other. Should this review reject my application on the basis of lack of legal review, that would be understandable, as it's a valid concern with my (or any) license. However, legal review is one of many characteristics a license can have, that make it worth approval. While my license lacks legal review it brings other qualities to the table, as outlined in my original post.


On Sun, Feb 14, 2021 at 11:32 AM Josh Berkus <josh at berkus.org <mailto:josh at berkus.org> > wrote:

On 2/13/21 4:30 PM, J. Ritchey wrote:
> Legal review:
> No legal review of this license has been done. None is planned.

Given this statement, why would we take this license submission seriously?

This is like submitting a PR to someone else's repository with the
commit message "I didn't do any tests or use any linting tools".  That's
an automatic rejection in most OSS projects I know, and I don't see why
this submission should be any different.

Now, if you were looking for legal assistance crafting a license that
resolves what you perceive to be the deficiencies in BSD/MIT, that would
be one thing.  But you appear to believe that you don't need legal

-1 from me, propose immediate rejection without further discussion.

Josh Berkus

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