Backlog assistance?

Alex Stewart alex at
Sun Sep 23 01:18:28 UTC 2001

Greg London wrote:

> IANAL, but simply from a development point of view,
> OSI does not appear to be taking advantage of some
> of open-source's best feature: patches and evolution

There is a BIG difference between software and licenses.  One of the 
most pertinent differences in this context is that software is 
interpreted by _machines_ and licenses are interpreted by _people_. 
Machines have no problem dealing with code that's been patched and 
modified to the point where it becomes spaghetti, but if that happens to 
a license you're in very ambiguous legal waters.

> It would also create some unity among different
> variations of licenses. Currently, if the GPL
> were attacked legally, the people who use the
> Artistic License would have little at stake.
> but if a number of different groups use the same
> base-license, and the base license is legally
> attacked, there would advantage for a combined
> legal defense from all users of the base-license.

Sure, bonding and a common fight sounds like a good thing, until you 
realize that if the fight doesn't go the right way _everybody_ loses. 
 From a copyright-holder's perspective, this is an extremely bad thing, 
and for open source in general it's potentially disastrous.

Like genetics, some variation in the pool helps keep an individual 
weakness from destroying the entire group.

(note, before somebody jumps on me for this, that there is a difference 
between "some variation" and YAPL issues.  Everything can be taken to 


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