OSD #2 (was Re: GPL vs APSL (was: YAPL is bad))

Greg London greglondon at oaktech.com
Tue Sep 25 21:31:46 UTC 2001

Bruce Perens wrote:

> Both the MIT license and Public Domain 
> fit under both the
> OSD and RMS's definition of Free Software, 

is it possible to take GPL'ed code,
modify it, relicense it under
a proprietary license, and distribute
it only in binary form?

my understanding is it is not possible.
but MIT'ed code would allow this.

The 'bar' to meet GPL is pretty high.
The bar to satisfy the MIT license is on the ground.
The OSD is somewhere in between.

one can argue about RMS's definition
of free software, but his implementation
(the GPL license) set the bar a LOT
higher than MIT.

One could also argue that RMS's definition
is moot to OSI, since OSI has it's own
definition to follow.

> and to change the OSD to exclude them
> would be a travesty.

travesty smavesty.
I'm not saying exclude GPL. Never did.
I said GPL exceeds the minimum requirements
given by the OSD. I have no qualms with
GPL being OSI approved. You're not talking
to that which I am saying.

I am saying the MIT license does not meet OSD #2.
Since OSD #2 says 
"the program MUST include source code"
There is nothing in the MIT license to
guarantee OSD#2, so it fails to meet the

And OSD#2 requires this, because it uses
the word "MUST". I didn't put it there,
OSI did.

Therefore OSI should not have approved the MIT
license, since MIT does not satisfy this
requirement. OSI put the bar at a certain
height, and the MIT license limbo'ed right
under it.  

It isn't about it being a "travesty".
It's about whether or not OSI followed
its own definition.

If OSI certification gives absolutely
no guarantees about code licensed with
an OSI approved license, then OSI is 

YRMV=> Your Results May Vary
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