Legal soundness comes to open source distribution

Russell Nelson nelson at
Wed Aug 14 14:20:46 UTC 2002

Lawrence E. Rosen writes:
 > Several people, including Bruce Perens, Russ Nelson, myself, and most
 > recently David Johnson, have suggested wording for such an OSD
 > provision.  None of those versions has caused the others on this list to
 > stand up and cheer.

Particularly Bruce's, which he never actually got around to submitting.

I like David's, because it's such a shot across the bows.
Unfortunately, his suggestion says nothing about modification
restrictions, such as the GPL's, or BitKeeper's.  Presumably people
like being restrained from making or required to make certain
modifications to GPL'ed software (because they relate to copyright
notices), and dislike BitKeeper's restriction on removing logging

Larry's is nice because it completely punts on the issue.  "What you
could do, you can do."

I like mine (well duh!) because it explicitly says that all is fair in 
love, war, and software use and modification except for a few things.
That's also its weakness because the list needs to be right; no more
and no less.

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