[License-discuss] "Fairness" vs. mission objectives

Eric S. Raymond esr at thyrsus.com
Mon Feb 24 13:00:47 UTC 2020

Pamela Chestek's has aasserted that it would be "unfair" to revoke
certification of licenses we have previously accepted.

There is a kind of "fairness" I think we do owe - that is, process
fairness.  Transparency, accountabilty, and judging licenses without
fear or favor.

But I deny that "fairness" in the sense Ms. Chestek seems to intend it
falls under tht rubric, and affirm that we *should* revoke licenses
on any occasion that we discover that we have erred in analyzing them
and they have negative consequences for our mission.

Ms. Chestek seems to think we would be "unfair" if we certify a license,
others place reliance on it, and we then revoke certification. But
let's consider an analogy. Suppose we were...say...Underwriter's
Laboratories. We certify the safety of a piece of electrical
equipment; we then discover there was an error in testing it and it
can be injurious.

At that point it would become our *duty* to revoke certification
to minimize future harm, and we would be wrong to be dissuaded from
that course merely because the vendor and users of that equipment
might be inconvenienced or suffer monetary loss.

The analogy is exact.  We should prioritize OSI's principles and
mission over the incidental costs of de-certifying a license, because
the defense of those principle and the execution of that mission is
what our community expects and our charter demands.

(I am not at present advocating revoking the certitification of any
specific license. I am making a meta-level point, about principles.)
		<a href="http://www.catb.org/~esr/">Eric S. Raymond</a>

The United States is in no way founded upon the Christian religion
	-- George Washington & John Adams, in a diplomatic message to Malta.

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