OpenLDAP license

David Johnson david at
Fri Apr 13 13:09:53 UTC 2001

On Friday April 13 2001 06:14 pm, Ryan S. Dancey wrote:

> #2:  BSD is mute.  It does not encapsulate any portion of #2.

But it does comply. Given source code under the BSD license, the program does 
indeed contain source code. No question about it. The OSi is not requiring 
that certified licenses only be used for Open Source exclusively, only that 
they can be.

> #3:  BSD complies, but is weak because it does not use a copyleft mechanism
> to require that the right to make derived works to be carried forward to
> each recipient. 

There's nothing in #3 that requires the the permissions to be carried forward.
It doesn't say "must require", only "must allow".

> [ as a side note, I think this is one of the places where the OSD itself is
> flawed.  The language of #2 should say, in my opinion:  "The license must
> allow modifications and derived works, and must REQUIRE them to be
> distributed under the same terms as the license of the original software."
> ]

Then you would have to dump out all non-copyleft licenses (as the general 
community defines copyleft). And you would have to through out most 
dual-licensed programs as well. Copyleft licenses may be the preferred 
licenses of the FSF, but they are not the only ones. And this isn't the FSF.

There may possibly be a need in some community for a mechanism to determine 
the copylefted-ness or perpetualness of licenses. But that's not the purpose 
of the OSI.

> #7:  BSD does not comply. (BSD code could be distributed in binary-only
> form with completely different and more restrictive licensing terms than
> the BSD).

But it does comply! The BSD license does not operate independently of 
copyright law. You must place the license within the framework of the law. 
And the law clearly says that the author retains the priviledge of changing 
the distribution terms.

The "Program" must, by law, be distributed under the exact terms of the BSD 
license. You have not been given any rights to change the distribution terms. 
However, you may only apply different terms to you own works, such as a 
derivitive of the Program. But that would no longer be the Program.

> Why?  OSI Certification doesn't determine if your individual distribution
> is "open source" or not.  Only the recipients of your work can make that
> determination.  If you think it's important to the recipients of your work
> that the OSI certifies your release, then you should use a license which
> encapsulates the OSD.

Okay, here is the harm done by decertifying licenses:

>From, "SourceForge is a free service to Open Source 
developers..." (with the 'Open Source' being a link to, 
and thus the OSD).

>From, "We only accept products with OSI Certified 

I'm really not getting your hostility to the BSD license. I can certainly 
understand you not approving of it personally, but I can't understand why you 
don't think it isn't Free in the FSF sense and Open in the OSI sense. The 
primary focus of the FSF and OSI has always been upon the licensee (the user) 
and not the licensor. When my users receive my software, the BSD license 
allows them every right, priviledge and permission that the FSF and OSI seek 
to enumerate, promote and defend.

David Johnson

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