OpenLDAP license

David Johnson david at
Thu Apr 12 16:27:52 UTC 2001

On Thursday April 12 2001 10:20 pm, Ryan S. Dancey wrote:

The origins of the OSD lie in the DFSG. It was an attempt to define what 
software was free and what was not, in the FSF meaning of the term. The OSI 
should continue in this course, by making the OSD an instrument to help 
determine if the software is Open Source or not. Most non-ideological and 
non-developer users don't care about the license, only the software. Can they 
give it to their friends or not?

The OSD should be focusing on the software. OSI Certification is only a 
shortcut for the user to use in determining of the actual software is free 
and open. IMO.

> If the OSI decides to focus on licenses, I suggest that it will find the
> BSD does not encapsulate enough of the OSD to guarantee the rights the OSD
> seeks to enumerate. 

??? But the BSD license *does* encapsulate all of these rights. So would a 
license that said in effect "zero restrictions, period".  What right is 
missing? Licenses by themselves are absolutely meaningless, in the same way 
that deeds to property are meaningless without the property. Even the GPL by 
itself in meaningless outside of being a mini-manifesto of sorts. 

This is one reason why I don't think that license alone should determine OSD 

> And if the OSI decides that the BSD license shouldn't
> be considered "OSI Certified", what would be the real harm?  OSI Certified
> doesn't mean "Open Source", since that term was held to be
> un-trademarkable.

That term might not be trademarkable, but it still means the same thing. The 
term "Open Source", applied as an attribute of software, means that the 
software generally follows the criteria set forth in the OSD. True, because 
their is no trademark, Microsoft could come along and call WinXP "open 
source". But so what? They already do the same with such un-trademarked terms 
as "secure" and "robust".

And since I use the BSD license myself, I will have to object to any scheme 
that removes that license from OSI Certification. Since I currently 
distribute my software only as source code under the BSD license, my 
creations completely meet every definition of the OSD, and pass with flying 
colors. If proposed changes to the OSD would involve decertifying any 
software, then toss that proposal out and think of one that works.

David Johnson

More information about the License-discuss mailing list