As the Open Source Initiative (OSI) is readying a group to tackle the issues of licence proliferation, earlier proposals to solve the problem have fallen into disgrace, vnunet.com has learnt.
The OSI is likely to promote a few licences that it feels are best at serving specific needs, OSI president Michael Tiemann and chief technology officer for Red Hat, told vnunet.com in an interview at the Red Hat Summit in New Orleans. It can't, however, retract existing open source licences to weed out any useless ones.
"A consensus will form and say 'here are the best practices, and here are the 2nd best practices'. And here are places where everybody is walking up hill and it would be so much easier if we made changes," he said.
Another option could be that the OSI creates a new class of open source licences to differentiate the good and the bad ones.
"We may come up with some new marks that say: this is open source preferred or not so preferred," said Tiemann.
The OSI is in charge of labelling licences as officially open source, based on compliance with a predefined set of criteria. The organisation has come under pressure for allowing a proliferation of open source licences. The OSI websitecurrently lists 58 official open source licences.
A committee that will address the proliferation issue will be formed in the next two weeks, Tiemann said.
The Perl Artistic Licence is one example of a needless licence, Tiemann said. The licence that, among others, governs the Perl implementation, states that the copyright owner maintains artistic control, while allowing users the right to customise, use and distribute his work.
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