For Approval: Open Source Software Alliance License

Robin 'Roblimo' Miller robin at
Fri Sep 26 12:39:10 UTC 2003

>I have no problems with I said, I'd be happy to have a check from
>IBM too.  Its just time to end the mythology that Linux is something that
>people who are above "money" sell. Linux is a business product. It makes
>money.  It makes more money as it is advertised, promoted and sold, etc.
>Linux salesman are capitalists, not philanthropists.  I don't see a
>difference, nor do I think it is objectionable.

Nor do I. Industry consortiums and standards-setting bodies are entirely 
legitimate. In a commercial sense, I see Linux as an industry standard 
not unlike the SAE's fastener specifications. Naturally, a company that 
wants to make bolts or screws that only work with its own proprietary 
nuts, washers, and tightening tools is going to decry the standards used 
by other companies in its industry, and if that company is an 
industry-dominating one, there are going to be conflicts.

Think railroad tracks or, as Bob Lefkowitz wrote last year about time 
standards, railroad schedules and clocks. Railroads all had their own 
time standards in the 19th century until a standards body called "the 
U.S. government" set up uniform times and time zones. The reason we have 
standardization in screw threads, rail gauges, and clock settings is not 
philanthropy, but as an aid to commerce and invention. And it is cheaper 
for many companies to get together and develop a single industry-wide 
standard in association with academics and government partners than for 
each company to develop its own. I consider Linux and vertical open 
source packages (GPL or not) in this same light. There is nothing evil 
about this. Companies that decide not to follow the standards tend to go 
away in the long run. And there is nothing evil about this, either. We 
call it "capitalism" and rather like the idea of corporate innovation 
and evolution here in my country, the U.S.A.

>Aside from all that, you were at the conference when Bruce Perens conceded
>that the GPL has commercial limitations.

*NEWS FLASH* - GPL has commercial limitations!

Ken, I advise you and your employers not to release any software you 
write under the GPL. Instead, use a *BSD-style license or perhaps a dual 
licensing scheme. I think you will be much happier. And developers who 
prefer the GPL will use it to license their software, and we will all be 
happy. Here in the US of A creators of new works get to choose for 
themselves the terms under which they distribute their creations. We 
Americans like this kind of freedom.

And if you don't like the terms under which Linux is licensed, don't use 
Linux.  Simple as that.

Just because I own and like  my Jeep Cherokee doesn't mean I want to 
force you to buy one. I fully support your right not to use Linux or 
other GPL-licensed software.

Robin 'Roblimo' Miller
(waving large flag in bright Florida morning sunshine)

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