click, click, boom

Greg London greglondon at
Wed Sep 26 14:55:36 UTC 2001

Rick Moen wrote:
> begin Greg London quotation:
> > If someone puts out a bunch of source code under the MIT license, and
> > the distro is OSI certifiable, there is nothing to prevent someone
> > else from redistributing it in binary form only. Their only "penalty"
> > is that they lose OSI certification.
> _Licences_ are OSD-certified.  Software is open-source or not, in
> accordance with its nature (including but not limited to licensing).

"The OSI Certified mark applies to software, not to licenses. "

Licenses can be "approved" by OSI, but that
does not guarantee certification on a piece of

> Do you have a point, or are you simply ruminating on the vagaries of
> power and influence?

point (1)
it is not clear by the OSI website that there is
a distinction between approved licenses
and certified software. You confused the
two above yourself.

someone who has a program they wish to license
could come to teh OSI website, do a quick readthrough,
and come away with the understanding that an approved
license will guarantee the OSD is legally enforced 
in the license.

With 26 licenses, some of them extremely long,
most people will not read all of them,nor understand
the implications of them. I skipped over to the
OSD, read that, and assumed that I could pick
any approved license, and the OSD would be enforced.

point (2)
This is at the root of the whole 
"yet another public license" discussion.

OSI has little incentive to approve YAPL,
since OSI's only contribution to open
source is through it's certification
of software. Approval of another license 
is independent of software certification.

programmers have little incentive to 
get OSI certification, because it does
little measurable for them. The only
thing that is concrete for the developer
is the wording of the license. Therefore
you get all these developers trying to 
get a slightly modified version of a 
license approved.

A developer submits a license to OSI and
says "none of teh currently approved licenses
do exactly what I want."

OSI (or at least a number of people on
this list) respond "you should just use
an already existing license and get certified"

Developers want certification, but they also
know enough that they want a legal license
that gives them what they want.

OSI will certify software under the MIT
license, which effectively means that OSI
will certify software licensed in such a 
way to give away all rights. So it is no
surprise that OSI isn't too concerned
about YAPL that splits some fine hairs
between this right and that right. 

OSI will certify something that licenses
away all rights. Why worry about whether
or not you can distribute changes in the
form of patches? The MIT license says you
can do ANYTHING.

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