[License-discuss] Improvement to the License-Review Process

Florian Weimer fw at deneb.enyo.de
Thu Aug 27 20:04:52 UTC 2020

* Simon Phipps:

> On Thu, Aug 27, 2020 at 7:51 PM Florian Weimer <fw at deneb.enyo.de> wrote:
>> * Andrew DeMarsh:
>> >>
>> >> Quite a few people view such a requirement in a software license as
>> >> DFSG-noncompliant.  I think it would be a bit odd if OSI adopted such
>> >> a requirement within its contribution process.
>> >>
>> >
>> > I'm not sure that it would be required in the license text itself
>> possibly
>> > only interacting with the mailing list review, I am confused as to which
>> > DFSG guideline this would run afoul, (Possibly 5?) could you elaborate?
>> I think the most common interpretation is that outlawing anonymous
>> changes is an implicit restriction on field of endeavor (because you
>> cannot modify the software in a context in which you want to stay
>> anonymous for reasons of personal safety, say).
> That's confusing the license itself with the process of approval. A license
> that tried to prevent anonymous use or improvement of the software would be
> clearly non-conformant, but requiring either a real-world identity or a
> stable and well-used online pseudo identity from license submitters would
> not affect later users of the license itself if approved.

Sure, process and outcome are different things.  But I think in case
of organizations like OSI, organizations that try to adhere to a set
of principles, there is a more complex interplay between the two.
Technically, it wouldn't matter to the content of the approved
licenses if candidates could only submitted and reviewed via the use
of non-open-source software.  But wouldn't it be rather awkward?

I really have no stakes in this, though.  I can understand if you (not
you personally, all people who have made OSI work in the past) are
disappointed about what happened.  I've been there myself in other
contexts, but this one doesn't really affect me personally, if I'm
totally honest.

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