For Approval: Open Source Software Alliance License

Mark Rafn dagon at
Thu Sep 25 18:03:30 UTC 2003

On Thu, 25 Sep 2003, Sean Chittenden wrote:

> >  > Let me clarify some vocabulary:
> >  > people = home user or developer of applications out side of a
> >  >          commercial entity working on a not for sale piece of
> >  >          software.
> >  > 
> >  > businesses = commercial developers interested explicitly in the
> >  > 	 purpose of developing commercial applications and products.

What about commercial entities who work on not-for-sale software for 
purposes other than developing commercial software products?  What about 
home users who develop software for their own use and later find someone 
willing to pay for it?

The commercial/noncommercial view of splitting the world is pretty useless
IMO.  Every human being can be a user, developer, and distributor, and the 
roles change constantly.

> > It interferes with the creation of proprietary software.

Not at all!  It interferes with transforming free software into
proprietary software.  Creating new proprietary software is greatly aided
by GPL tools.

> Businesses using OSSAL software would give the business the ability to
> create proprietary software, even though the non-core parts are most
> likely open and available to the public.

They have this under the GPL (as long as their proprietary software isn't 
a derived work of the GPL software).  They have this under the BSD license 
even if it IS a derived work.

I utterly fail to see how ANYONE benefits from this proposed license over 
a pure BSD license.  It's completely ludicrous to claim that my ability to 
take a GPL project and make it into a plugin for your product does 
ANYTHING to reduce someone's freedom to release proprietary software based 
on your code. 

Of course they can't make proprietary work derived from my plugin, but
they can't if I release a binary-only plugin either (which you allow), or
if I don't release it at all (because it's based on GPL code I don't own).

Additionally, for those of us that might choose to combine GPL and OSSAL 
work, all this means is we need to distribute our code seperately and make 
our users do the actual linking/compiling/combining themselves.  

It sucks, but you're free to make whatever license terms you like.  I
suspect you'll see a lot less use of your software under this than you
would under a pure BSD license, but again, it's your call.

Please, if you want your work to be freely transformable into 
proprietary work, just use the BSD license.  
Mark Rafn    dagon at    <>  
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