Fails OSD #1. [Re: OSD compliant shareware]

Gregor Hoffleit gregor at
Wed Nov 14 09:12:27 UTC 2001

* Bruce Perens <bruce at> [011114 05:33]:
> It's been pointed out that:
> 1. The OSD is not written in statutory language.
> 2. That it says what you _can't_ do rather than what you can and thus makes
>    it easy to find loopholes, because there is an unbounded set of activities
>    that it does not restrict.
> 3. That it was created before we had any experience interpreting it and before
>    there was a DMCA at all.
> It still makes a _wonderful_ manifesto, its success speaks for that.
> But to apply it blindly would be foolhardy. I imagine that there is an
> unbounded set of licenses that appear to be OSD-compliant yet are so
> pernicious in their terms as to be outside of the spirit of the OSD.

What I'm telling since years in this list: Despite it's naming, the OSD
is no formal _definition_ of free software, it's at most a set of
_guidelines_ that _describe_ what free software is. Which is no wonder,
given its origin, the DFSG.

I wished the fathers of 'Open Source' wouldn't have made this naming
mistake ,-|

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