Charter for License Proliferation (LP) Committee of the Open Source
1. TYPE OF COMMITTEE: This is an advisory committee, reporting to the
2. PURPOSE: The purpose of the Committee is to identify and lessen or
remove issues caused by license proliferation.
3. POLICY STATEMENT: The committee will never take action that requires
a licensor to relicense his or her project. No license will be
"de-approved" to the extent that it is no longer considered an open
source license. The committee will consult with the steward of a license
before recommending action concerning that license. All actions of the
committee will be approved by the OSI Board.
4. ANTICIPATED FUNCTIONS:
The work of the Committee may be accomplished through subcommittees
formed of members from the whole Committee.
With the approval of the OSI Board, the committee will:
a. Identify the various things that people mean when they discuss the
license proliferation issue (i.e., what are the problems caused by
license proliferation or is the very existence of numerous Open Source
licenses also a problem). This involves, among other things, soliciting
input from the community, both individual and corporate.
b. Take steps, both big and small, to lessen license proliferation and
educate the public about existing licenses. These may include but are
not limited to:
-encourage license stewards to "deprecate" existing licenses for which
they are responsible (this move will NOT remove OSI's approval from
licenses, just mark them as not desirable to use in the future). Intel
has taken a step in this direction when it recently offered to no longer
recommend the Intel Open Source License.
-work on "tiering" existing approved licenses, separating the licenses
into groups indicating whether they should be used on future projects
-provide educational materials (such as a matrix) to describe traits of
some or all existing approved licenses (this license is reciprocal, this
license has a choice of laws clause, etc.). This will provide
educational assistance to people trying to pick a license for their project.
-Suggest that existing projects re-license if using "deprecated"
licenses (Current thinking is that OSI will NEVER REQUIRE licensors to
-Other actions as suggested by the committee members