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Re: OSI affiliation

On Tue, Feb 21, 2012 at 01:08:28PM +0000, Gervase Markham wrote:
> On 21/02/12 10:08, MJ Ray wrote:
>> Words are cheap.  When will OSI revoke some of the bloopers?
> Philip also made the same point. You'd need to ask them. I can speculate  
> wildly:
> - They currently have no process for revocation of status;
> - Most of the bad ones are hardly used at all, making it a moot point
>   practically;
> - It sets a bad precedent; organizations which have policies about
>   using only OSI-approved software may have to incur significant cost
>   and inconvenience;

A way to solve these three issues, and solve the license proliferation issue
while at it, might be to start from scratch.

"Since we've have become concerned about the wild proliferation of
 similar licenses, we have decided to change the way we work.

 We have begun work on categorising the different types of licenses
 we find acceptable, and have described their strengths and weaknesses
 here" <list of the base licenses, such as GPL, MIT, BSD, etc.>

"Other licenses that are deemed equivalent with these licenses will
 put on a second list; while these licenses too are recognised as
 OSI-approved, we do not recommend using them for newly written
 software, and if possible would prefer to see their use be replaced
 with one of the <endorsed, perhaps?> ones."

"While reworking the list we will also do review work of the entries
 already in the list; if we find details we might have missed out on
 earlier, we will <foo bar>"

"The previous list of OSI-approved licenses is still available <here>,
 but once work on our new list finished it will be marked as obsolete."

And then launch this as OSI-approved v2.

All this would obviously rely on such license reviews actually taking
place, rather than just rubber stamping.

> - It would be difficult to get wide enough agreement on exactly which
>   licenses were "bad enough" to be revoked.

This might be tricky, agreed.  Lucky for them Debian has got a pretty
solid good/bad list already.  We can even offer it free of charge, free
to modify, free to use anyway they please, free to redistribute, free
for whatever purpose they want. ;)

Regards: David Weinehall
 /) David Weinehall <tao@debian.org> /) Rime on my window           (\
//  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~   //  Diamond-white roses of fire //
\)  http://www.acc.umu.se/~tao/    (/   Beautiful hoar-frost       (/

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