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Re: Option 3

From: Smylers <Smylers@stripey.com>
Date: Wed, 9 Mar 2011 13:04:29 +0000
To: Lawrence Rosen <lrosen@rosenlaw.com>, public-html@w3.org, 'PSIG' <member-psig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <20110309130429.GJ4544@stripey.com>
Lawrence Rosen writes:

> License proliferation is not as serious a problem as some perceive it
> to be. I appreciate the arguments posted at Wikipedia, but I beg to
> differ. I also addressed the license proliferation issue in a somewhat
> different way with somewhat different conclusions in an article I
> published. (http://rosenlaw.com/LicenseProliferation.pdf)

Hi there. Thanks for that. I have a few questions.

Your article explains how licences can be written in a way to be
compatible with each other, so as to reduce the problems when combining
works published under different licences.

However, it isn't clear to me why writing a new licence, B, to be
compatible with existing licence, A, offers any advantage over not
writing B at all and simply using licence A in the first place. What
advantages are there?

If B is to be compatible with A, then surely licensing under A would
have the desired effect?

Further, nothing in that article addresses one of the main objections to
licence proliferation: that each time a work is published using a new
licence, potential users have to spend time evaluating the licence to
determine whether it is acceptable to them. Multiple organizations
(whether corporations or the Debian project) all doing this can add up
to a lot of time expended, completely unnecessarily if an existing
licence could have been used instead to the same effect.

Surely this is a valid reason to seek to avoid minting another licence
where an existing one will do?

> You can Google "license proliferation rosen" to read what I and others
> say about this so-called FOSS problem of license proliferation. 

I tried that but only found more copies of the article you linked to and
mirrors of the Wikipedia page that Ian did. What in particular did you
have in mind?


Received on Wednesday, 9 March 2011 13:05:00 UTC

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