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

John Cowan cowan at ccil.org
Sun Jan 5 16:14:08 UTC 2020

On Sun, Jan 5, 2020 at 1:31 AM VanL <van.lindberg at gmail.com> wrote:

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.

But it does not certify anything and everything that complies with the
OSD.  For example, the informal rule against certifying duplicative
licenses (which the CAL may or may not be) is also taken into account.

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

I agree that discussing the CAL to see if it warrants OSI cert is a Good
Thing, and dismissing it on the grounds that nobody uses it is a mistake.

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
> situation.

That's called "exercise of sound discretion".  To put things in terms of
legal history, not all equity rules become codified.

> 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!

I think the sense of the community is that writing them down would (a) be
divisive (it was hard enough to get everyone to sign on to the OSD) and (b)
make them easier for bad actors (not meaning you) to game.

John Cowan          http://vrici.lojban.org/~cowan        cowan at ccil.org
I am he that buries his friends alive and drowns them and draws them
alive again from the water. I came from the end of a bag, but no bag
went over me.  I am the friend of bears and the guest of eagles. I am
Ringwinner and Luckwearer; and I am Barrel-rider.  --Bilbo to Smaug
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