|From:||"Michael Tiemann" <tiemann-AT-opensource.org>|
|To:||License Discuss <license-discuss-AT-opensource.org>|
|Subject:||Fwd: OSI approves CPAL at OSCON 2007|
|Date:||Mon, 30 Jul 2007 12:44:54 -0400|
I have no idea why this never made it to the reflector. I'll try sending again. M ---------- Forwarded message ---------- From: Michael Tiemann <firstname.lastname@example.org> Date: Jul 27, 2007 1:43 AM Subject: OSI approves CPAL at OSCON 2007 To: email@example.com I wish that Russ Nelson or I would have been the first to be able to report the results of the board meetings held at OSCON this week. The schedule of our activities was posted on our wiki, but that schedule did not necessarily tell the whole story of our busy time in Portland. Between the 6 hour work session Sunday, the 10+ hour board meeting Monday, programming and presentations Tue-Thu, the hour-long BOF on Tuesday, the 2+ hour BOF on Wednesday night, and 16+ hours of booth duty (usually attended by at least 2 OSI board members, and which helped the OSI raise approximately $4000 from approximately 200 conference attendees), there has been a lot to juggle. Not to mention the challenge of coordinating 8 different board members staying in 8 different hotels, working for 8 different companies, each of which are demanding lots of attention when we're not attending OSI-related meetings. I now have time to write this email because OSCON 2007 is over for me, and I have a few hours before I need to wake up and catch an early morning flight to my next destination. In Monday's board meeting the topic of whether to approve the CPAL was considered. We took the advice of the License Approval Chair, which was to approve the CPAL. We know that there was not 100% consensus among those who subscribe to license-discuss, but we felt that there was reasonable consensus that the safe harbor of the license was sufficiently broad to meet the requirements of the OSD and therefore approve the license. Whereas there was significant and broad consensus *against* the predecessor version, the response by many to the current version was a stark contrast that we read as general acceptance. In the course of taking that recommendation, which I agreed with, I observed what I considered to be a mismatch between the text of the license and the intentions discussed, debated, and before us to approve. I suggested that it would be better to correct the error in the license as long as such correction did not in any way affect the substance of the discussion of that license. If the error had in any way violated the OSD, I would have sent the license back to the review process, as I did when the SimPL license was (erroneously) submitted with incorrect text. But this error related to a potential for confusion where none need exist, in a license whose terms were otherwise recommended for approval. I thought it better to make a change and approve a license with less potential for confusion than to approve the license and deal later with the confusion, or force yet another delay on an already long-delayed process simply to recount votes that had already been cast. The board discussed this and agreed. In the middle of all this, I was lobbied by a third party attending OSCON to make additional changes that would have altered the substance of the license, I said "no, we're not going to consider changing the conditions of the bargain--we're only going to consider corrections to the text to reflect the bargain that was discussed." I further explained that if the person's proposed change was not enough to change consensus on license-discuss (to which he had posted his suggestion to no avail), private lobbying wasn't going to get me to suggest a private amendment to the licenseas a requirement for approval. The community had been consulted, and its stance on that issue as well as the overall substance, which was not a unanimous stance, was clear. If the board were more efficient in conducting its business, perhaps we would have time to check and re-check every submission while still providing tolerable turn-around. The board certainly values the advice that the License Approval Committee provides to us--it is advice we take very seriously and it is advice that helps us greatly to define and communicate our statements about the licenses submitted to us. Even when a license is clearly OSD-compliant or clearly not OSD-compliant, we are happy that there are "many eyes" reading along with us, making the work both easier and more certain. But it is an advisory role, and ultimately it is up to the Board to discern what and how much of that advice to take, not unlike a maintainer reading comments from other reviewers before committing a patch in modified or unmodified form. And in this case, we took that advice (which was not unanimous), accepted a change we considered to be an improvement in clarity but not a change in substance, and approved the license. I look forward to getting our minutes published and I look forward to answering any other questions anybody on this list may have for me, either in public email or privately. This situation is not the Board's preferred way to do things, but the Board does prefer to do things it considers responsible compared to doing nothing because it lacks any confidence whatsoever in its own ability to act responsibly. In this circumstance we felt it better to act than to wait (or, more accurately, more harmful to wait than to act). Some of you have already expressed your strong disagreement with our decision, and you, too, are entitled to your opinion. But know this: the board does value your opinion, and we hope that you will continue to provide it, both when you agree and when you disagree with our policies, procedures, and decisions. And the board takes very seriously its responsibility for serving the communities of developers, users, and other stakeholders who want to see more people benefiting from more open source software, software that fulfills the promise of the OSD. The next OSI Board meeting is scheduled for August 11th, and it will likely be at 11AM EDT (8AM PDT). If you would like to attend (by conference call), send me an email and I'll work out how to get you dialed in. If you'd like to address the board, I'll create time on the schedule for that. M
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