OSI compliance requiring software to be "free beer"?

Lawrence E. Rosen lrosen at rosenlaw.com
Thu Jan 18 19:38:38 UTC 2001

Dear license-discuss participants:

Having read the flurry of emails on this topic in the past few days, I
appreciate the feelings of some that this is taking a lot of time and
energy.  However, I still encourage everyone to be patient and
non-confrontational in your responses.  It is reasonable to point out
misunderstandings or otherwise incorrect analyses, but please don't respond
in a personal way, at least in the public forum.

For those of you who have been involved for a long time in the free software
and open source movements, such concepts as the differences between the
categories of "freedom" are second nature.  Others perhaps newer to our
community find those concepts difficult to understand.  If you haven't the
time or patience to help explain, please just file the emails away and
ignore them.

I personally believe that one of the major challenges for the open source
movement is to explain how one can make money at it.  There are some obvious
success stories to which we can point, but that doesn't mean that all
potential business models are understood.  Unless we can argue intelligently
to the large numbers of companies who want to join but are afraid to do so,
we risk losing many potential converts.

Since I joined the open source movement, and more recently since I began to
serve the community as OSI's executive director, I have found myself
challenged by the often perceptive comments of the people who send email to
license-discuss.  As several of you to whom I have written personally know,
I don't agree with everything that is said.  But I welcome the intellectual
stimulation of vigorous on-topic discussions, I welcome the opportunity to
debate important issues, and then I welcome the opportunity to close ranks
and support the common goals to which we are all committed.

Thanks for your continued support and contributions.

/Larry Rosen
Executive Director, OSI
lrosen at rosenlaw.com

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