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

John Cowan cowan at ccil.org
Sun Jan 5 16:29:59 UTC 2020

On Sun, Jan 5, 2020 at 4:14 AM Henrik Ingo <henrik.ingo at avoinelama.fi>

But if we want to claim that software can only be
> called "open source" if it is under an OSI approved license,

We don't, haven't, and can't claim this.  "OSI Certified" is a cert mark
which OSI owns and has to police.  "Open source" is just a public-domain
phrase we can try to discourage people from using for their badgeware or
do-no-evil licenses.

> When I evaluate whether software is open source, I would consider at
> least the OSI and FSF lists, but possibly even other sources on
> commentary for the license.

Good.  You could always ask me while you are at it.  :-)

> most people out there are rather on the
> level of "Microsoft will close source Github".

I thought Github's software was closed-source already.

> I remember when Microsoft submitted the MS-PL. Some people who were
also vocal in this thread, were strongly against approving it, because
> although the license was OSD compliant, Microsoft was an evil company.
> Luckily it was approved, and look at Microsoft's progress since.

Perhaps you also remember when I submitted MS-PL and another MS license a
few years before.  They were rejected on the perfectly correct process
grounds that I could propose them but I couldn't change them if the OSI
requested changes (they were too new to fit under the "legacy" category).
I accepted that and withdrew them, but I continued to maintain (in the face
of attacks on Groklaw) that the licenses were nevertheless open source, and
eventually OSI agreed with me.  I was not intruding on OSI's monopoly on
"open source", because it has none.

> There could also be an "open
> source but not recommended" category for licenses that were approved
> but only used by 1 or 2 projects/vendors.

Some of the existing categories, which were absolute murder to get
agreement on, were intended to serve that purpose.  A *lot* of mailing-list
participants did *not* want OSI to be in the position of saying "License A
is better than license B."  I don't think that's changed.  Of course,
anyone else can set up a license wizard that does make such recommendations.
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