[License-discuss] discussion of L-R process [was Re: [License-review] Approval: Server Side Public License, Version 2 (SSPL v2)]

Tzeng, Nigel H. Nigel.Tzeng at jhuapl.edu
Sun Mar 17 13:43:13 UTC 2019

I will point out that the most “famous” example wasn’t CC0 but NOSA 2.0 where one single individual, representing the OSI in an offical capacity, withheld any voting on the license for three years despite it being a replacement for a prior version and hence no proliferation issue, addressed some long standing concerns about that license, was already listed as a “special purpose license” with limited purview, had already been discussed on this list and was recommended for approval by the majority of participants and the former list moderator.

That CC declined to go through the same experience is understandable and it appears that NASA has given up on the process entirely.

For anyone to argue that there wasn’t undue influence on this list in the past is...interesting.

Whether this has been adequately addressed with the current, mostly untested, guidelines is debatable but the concern with “undue influence”, “loud voices” and “opaque process” is not without merit or past evidence.

Speaking only for myself,


From: Richard Fontana <richard.fontana at opensource.org<mailto:richard.fontana at opensource.org>>
Date: Friday, Mar 15, 2019, 5:27 PM
To: license-discuss at lists.opensource.org <license-discuss at lists.opensource.org<mailto:license-discuss at lists.opensource.org>>
Subject: Re: [License-discuss] discussion of L-R process [was Re: [License-review] Approval: Server Side Public License, Version 2 (SSPL v2)]

For many submitted licenses, there is no vote because the submitter essentially withdraws from the process (formally or otherwise) in the face of negative reaction on the mailing list. One of the more famous examples of this was the submission of CC0, where Creative Commons withdrew the license from consideration after the discussion came to center on criticism of the  "No ... patent rights held by Affirmer are waived, abandoned, surrendered, licensed or otherwise affected by this
document." language. But in most cases the community (license-review) reaction clearly points in one direction. Historically there was a tendency to encourage the license submitter to withdraw.


That might suggest that if there's a loud voices problem, it is not about undue influence on *OSI*, but undue influence on the license submitter (i.e., the reaction to the license is so overwhelmingly
negative that the license submitter informally or formally withdraws from the process).
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