[License-discuss] Generic process for removing approved licenses. Re: REMOVE AAL from list of approved licenses

McCoy Smith mccoy at lexpan.law
Wed Apr 1 16:46:59 UTC 2020

> -----Original Message-----
> From: License-discuss <license-discuss-bounces at lists.opensource.org> On
> Behalf Of Josh Berkus
> Sent: Wednesday, April 1, 2020 9:25 AM
> To: license-discuss at lists.opensource.org; Pamela Chestek
> <pamela at chesteklegal.com>
> Subject: Re: [License-discuss] Generic process for removing approved
> licenses. Re: REMOVE AAL from list of approved licenses
> I would argue that, rather, redundant, superceded, and voluntarily retired
> licenses are all subcategories of deprecated.  However, none of those
> carry the implication for developers and companies that "deprecated" does;
> that simple word conveys the idea that the license exists but should not
> used.  None of the other catergory words we've chosen work in that fasion.

The current OSI categories are as follows:
1. Licenses that are "popular and widely-used or with strong communities"

2. Special purpose licenses [Certain licensors, such as schools and the US
government, have specialized concerns, such as specialized rules for
government copyrights. Licenses that were identified by the License
Proliferation Committee as meeting a special need were placed in this

3. Other/Miscellaneous licenses [These licenses do not fall neatly into any

4. Licenses that are redundant with more popular licenses [Several licenses
in this group are excellent licenses and have their own followings, however
these licenses were perceived by the License Proliferation Committee as
completely or partially redundant with existing licenses.]

5. Non-reusable licenses [Licenses in this group are specific to their
authors and cannot be reused by others. Many, but not all, of these licenses
fall into the category of vanity licenses.]

6. Superseded licenses [Licenses in this category have been superseded by
newer versions.]

7. Licenses that have been voluntarily retired [Self-defining category. No
one should use these licenses going forward, although we assume that
licensors may or may not choose to continue to use them.]

8. Uncategorized Licenses

I suppose one could create a supraset called "Deprecated Licenses"
comprising subsets consisting of 4, 6 and 7 above, although you'd get some
controversy about adding category 4 to that supraset, as some of the authors
of licenses in category 4 do not believe that their licenses ought to be
considered redundant and would likely object even more if their license were
categorized as deprecated.

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