For Approval: Open Source Software Alliance License

John Cowan jcowan at
Fri Sep 26 17:14:50 UTC 2003

Sean Chittenden scripsit:

> That's a smart business for reusing someone else's
> wheel design, kinda like a dated patent.  The GPL is like the
> perpetual patent though, it never expires and becomes usable to other
> businesses.  *shudder*

Well, patents expire after 20 years, the GPL after 95.  Either is an
effective eternity in the proprietary software business, though the
FLOSSers have been able to wait out the RSA patent and are close to
waiting out the LZW/GIF patent.

> That's fine, but if a widget maker releases a piece of software under
> the GPL, other widget makers won't care and won't look at the
> resulting open sourced code.

In fact they do.  People who sell proprietary software are among the
heaviest contributors to the open-source community.

> I'm trying to suggest that the GPL and BSD/MIT licenses don't fit my
> needs as a business and I think the OSSAL is an adequate alternative
> that suits my needs and the needs of others.  

Your license is fine, once the ambiguities are squeezed out, and I recommend
that the OSI approve it.  I don't believe your advocacy is founded on sound
argumentation, which is an entirely independent point.  This list discusses

John Cowan  jcowan at
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  deity'll donate doughnuts                     --English version by Muke Tever
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