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Policy Statements:
License Proliferation

 .:: OSD change log ::.
*1.0 identical to DFSG, except for addition of MPL and QPL to clause 10.
*1.1 added LGPL to clause 10.
*1.2 added public-domain to clause 10.
*1.3 retitled clause 10 and split off the license list, adding material on procedures.
*1.4 Now explicit about source code requirement for PD software.
*1.5 allow "reasonable reproduction cost" to meet GPL terms.
*1.6 Edited section 10; this material has moved.
*1.7 Section 10 replaced with new "Conformance" section.
*1.8 Section 1: replaced "may not" with "shall not".
*1.9 Section 9: removed rationale referring to the action of the GPL as Contaminat[ion].
* Section 10 added.
* Site History
 .:: Conformance to the OSD ::.

(This section is not part of the Open Source Definition.)

We think the Open Source Definition captures what the great majority of the software community originally meant, and still mean, by the term "Open Source". However, the term has become widely used and its meaning has lost some precision. The OSI Certified mark is OSI's way of certifying that the license under which the software is distributed conforms to the OSD; the generic term "Open Source" cannot provide that assurance, but we still encourage use of the term "Open Source" to mean conformance to the OSD. For information about the OSI Certified mark, and for a list of licenses that OSI has approved as conforming to the OSD, see the OSD Certification Mark page.

Charter for License Proliferation (LP) Committee of the Open Source Initiative (OSI):

1. TYPE OF COMMITTEE: This is an advisory committee, reporting to the OSI Board

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 relicense)

-Other actions as suggested by the committee members


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