For Approval: Open Source Software Alliance License

Sean Chittenden sean at
Fri Sep 26 08:51:52 UTC 2003

> > > > 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.
> > > 
> > > The same is true of software under the BSD license.
> > 
> > Correct, but the BSD license does not ensure that all software
> > developed will be available under terms friendly for businesses,
> > which goes back to the point of me writing the OSSAL.
> If someone takes BSD-licensed code, modifies it and does a
> binary-only release, the modifications are not available at all.  So
> businesses cannot use these modifications.

Correct, but it did give the business a place to start from allowing
them to complete a product faster.

> If someone takes BSD-licensed code, modifies it and releases the
> result under GPL, the modifications are available but with certain
> restrictions. Now businesses cannot use the modifications either
> (unless they accept the restrictions).

Which is why I wrote the OSSAL...

> So I don't really see the difference here. In both cases the
> modifications are not available without restriction. Why does it
> matter that in one case they are licensed under a restrictive
> license?

Because I believe that if I provide, as an example, a programming
language and someone writes a module for that language, the least that
the module author can do is release the module under business friendly
terms.  If someone writes a module for my lang but releases it under
the GPL, if I want to use that module, I have to duplicate that
effort.  If I don't want to maintain my copy, I'll open source it (the
logical thing to do to keep costs/bugs down), but this leaves two
competing projects in the same space. Time is more precious to me and
I'd rather not have anyone waste it as a result of some idealogical
whim.  I personally have invested roughly 1.5K hours in 2003 on this
project, a little reciprocity/quid pro quo would be nice and that's
what the OSSAL delivers me.  As the license discussion states, "if you
scratch my back, I'll scratch yours."  -sc

Sean Chittenden
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