OpenLDAP license

David Johnson david at
Wed Apr 11 20:30:12 UTC 2001

On Wednesday April 11 2001 11:46 pm, Frank Hecker wrote:

> However I note that the web site is not at all clear
> about this. For example, the "Approved Licenses" page says "If you
> distribute your software under one of these licenses, you are permitted
> to say that your software is 'OSI Certified Open Source Software.'" It
> contains no mention of any explicit requirement to include source code.

Okay, I see what you're getting at, and thus what Ryan was getting at. Some 
of our assumptions on "what is Open Source" might not match the actual thing 
itself. My assumption, at least, was that the OSI Certification Mark was 
applied to the software, and not the license. Yes, the OSI specifically says 
that it is certifying the software, but it as a practical matter it only 
certifies licenses.

Interestingly enough, definition number two is the only definition that 
doesn't use the work "license".

I wouldn't change the OSD at all. But I would make it so that the software 
itself had to comply with the OSD, and not merely its license. How exactly to 
do this is another matter.  One possible solution is to add to the list of 
requirements for using the Certification Mark. The distribution must 
either include the source code or include with the notice the sentence " the 
source code for this product is available for no more than a reasonable 
reproduction cost". Just a possibility...

> In fact, just for fun, let's say that if anyone asks me "where's the
> source code", I reply "Oh, you can get that. All you need to do is to
> send me $1M and a self-addressed envelope, and I'll send you a copy of
> the source." Again, were I to do this, on what grounds could OSI prevent
> me from continuing to use its certification mark to promote my software?

And what's wrong with that? If you can somehow demonstrate that the $1M is 
reasonable, go for it! (If that's what M$ charges, a court could very well 
agree with you) But the source code has to come with the same terms as the 

In fact, this is what the FSF does, though not quite so extravagently. Go 
price out the GNU Source Code CD-ROM set. Source code only. At $280, I don't 
consider that very reasonable. But that's my opinion.

David Johnson

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