[License-discuss] [License-review] For approval: The Cryptographic Autonomy License (Beta 4)

VanL van.lindberg at gmail.com
Sun Jan 5 06:30:07 UTC 2020

It depends on what role the OSI is supposed to take. Is the OSI just the
FSF, but with different branding? Is the OSI just the recognizer and
rubber-stamper of existing practice?

No, the OSI is something different - it is a certifier. There is a
definition of "open source" and the OSI maintains it. The OSI reviews
submissions for conformance with the definition. Its charitable purpose is
education regarding that definition and the benefits of using software
governed by licenses conforming to that definition.

If we want to get back to the OSI's charter, by all means, let's do that!
Let's talk about the OSD, and what it means, and why it is important. If
the OSD needs to be updated, let's talk about that. It has been updated
before. If the procedures for evaluating conformance need to be changed,
let's talk about that.

But in this forum, we should be focused on the purposes of the OSI, not
other purposes.

It so happens that "open source" software will almost always be Free
Software - but not always.

It also so happens that many of the submissions will recognize and reflect
existing practice - but not always.

You bring up the vanity licenses, the crayon licenses, etc. The CAL is none
of those.  So why should the submission of those licenses be relevant to
the CAL?

Speaking generally, if there is failure on the part of the OSI, it is that
people have been unwilling to work out and put into place the rules
necessary to exclude licenses that "fit" the OSD but aren't acceptable for
some other reason. Instead, we have a bunch of half-understood,
under-the-radar norms that change from person to person and situation to

I am still astounded that there seems to be substantial resistance to the
idea that we should define and write down these norms - as if writing them
down would somehow undermine them!

So if someone wants to propose a new rule, such as "a license must have
demonstrated uptake in the community," then this is the place to do it. But
let's be explicit about what we are doing, and stop inventing rules on a
situation-by-situation basis.

Van Lindberg
van.lindberg at gmail.com
m: 214.364.7985
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