Cutting back license proliferation
Posted Feb 24, 2005 8:03 UTC (Thu) by hingo
Parent article: Cutting back license proliferation
Obviously, it has been a very good strategy for the OSI to accept any new license, as long as it's OSD compliant. This is how most of the corporate world first accepts Open Source. Getting their own license seems to be important for them, maybe they feel that they are still in control or something. Also, as Russ himself points out, it is important that everybody accepts OSI to be the authority on what is Open Source and what is not. Therefore the could not have neglected some licenses just because "This looks good, but we're not in the mood for new licenses today".
That being said, me too would like to have fewer licenses, and I'm not even a corporation. Maybe a good start would be to pick out a few (GPL, BSD, MIT/X, MPL, IBM and maybe some other patent-addressing license) into a recommended or first-class category, and put all the rest into an other or second-class category. That way it would be clear that some licenses are preferred (as in: This software is "First class OSI certified Open Source".) while some are simply accepted.
Anything that complies with the OSD should then be accepted into the second category. The first-class category would be defined as reserved for the most popular ones, and maybe exceptionally some license could get into the first category if it has important features that other licenses don't have (a really clever patent clause or some way of dealing with web-services as one example). Or such new and not yet popular licenses might be showcased in a "considered for first-class" category, or they could be marked as being on trial period or something, and then eventually popularity alone would be the deciding factor.
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