click, click, boom

Rod Dixon, J.D., LL.M. rod at
Fri Sep 28 11:30:22 UTC 2001

I agree with Matt that almost above all the open source community should
value the spirit of openness. Having said that, I think that to the extent
that OSI can foster an environment where the open source community continues
to rise to the next level of extending the benefits of open source licensing
to those who have significant resources at stake in adopting open source
licensing, we owe it to the community to perfect the open source definition
as well as debug some of the open source licenses, which may have been held
in high esteem, but nonetheless contain defects that could adversely impact
the open source effort should a license be challenged in court.  In other
words, the attempts to improve the OSD to make it consistent and actually
helpful is a good thing.


   >On Tue, 25 Sep 2001, Rick Moen wrote:
   >> The DFSG (and thus the OSD) were indeed abstracted out from several
   >> popular licences (if I remember accounts by Bruce P.).  As adopted by
   >I'd like to restate this.  Prior to the formation of the OSI, the free
   >software community was an open, friendly place oriented towards sharing
   >and being friendly.  The founders of the OSI were from that community,
   >and were trying to foster that community in new ways.
   >While nitpicking the particulars of the OSD and the OSI is a reasonable
   >pastime amongst perfectionists, it must also be kept in mind that the
   >OSD is an attempt to encapsulate an idea, that sharing is good, in a
   >friendly and open manner.
   >The intent was never, as far as I can reckon, to create an ironclad
   >definition that could be upheld in courts without the participation of
   >the community; I think the intent was always to make it clear to the
   >reader what the idea behind open source was.
   >Simply, the BSD/MIT license is approved because it adequately
   >encapsulates the idea behind open source.  Given that, there can be no
   >argument whether the BSD/MIT license belongs - if the OSD suggests that
   >it doesn't (and this is Greg's interpretation but quite a few people
   >disagree with him), then throw the OSD out, because the license, better
   >than the definition, encapsulates the ideas behind open source.
   > Matthew Weigel
   > Research Systems Programmer
   > mcweigel at ne weigel at
   >license-discuss archive is at

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