[License-discuss] Proposed license decision process

Richard Fontana richard.fontana at opensource.org
Fri Jan 18 05:22:48 UTC 2019

On Fri, Dec 7, 2018 at 12:40 AM Richard Fontana
<richard.fontana at opensource.org> wrote:
> We've drafted the guidelines below,
> which we aim to follow when reviewing licenses, to ensure that a
> license will be approved only if it conforms to the Open Source
> Definition and provides software freedom.

Thanks to those who commented on this. At a recent board meeting the
OSI approved the proposed license decision process (quoted below).

The details of this process will continue to be reviewed and refined
going forward. The OSI is happy to take improvements and suggestions
for further reform of the process.


> "Decision Date" for a license normally means (a) 60 days after a
> license is initially submitted for review, and (b) 30 days after
> submission of a revised version of a license that was previously
> submitted for review. A license is considered to be submitted for
> review if it follows the process set forth at
> https://opensource.org/approval. While we will try our best to adhere
> strictly to this 60/30 day Decision Date definition, circumstances may
> require us to extend the Decision Date further.
> On the Decision Date, the OSI will announce one of four possible decisions:
> 1. Defer for another 30-day discussion cycle, if community discussion
> of conformance of the license to the OSD remains active
> 2. Approve, if (a) there is sufficient consensus emerging from
> community discussion that approval is justified, and (b) the OSI
> determines that the license conforms to the Open Source Definition and
> guarantees software freedom
> 3. Reject if (a) the OSI determines that the license cannot
> practically be remedied to adequately guarantee software freedom, or
> (b) there is sufficient consensus emerging from community discussion
> that the license should be rejected for substantive reasons, or (c)
> the license is problematic for nonsubstantive reasons (for example, it
> is poorly drafted or significantly duplicative of one or more existing
> OSI-approved licenses)
> 4. Withhold approval, if (a) the OSI determines that approval would
> require reworking the license and (b) the license submitter appears
> willing and able to revise the license constructively
> We would appreciate your comments.
> - Richard

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