For Approval: Open Source Software Alliance License

Forrest J. Cavalier III mibsoft at
Fri Sep 26 17:20:14 UTC 2003

Sean Chittenden <sean at> wrote, in part:

> Why does everyone insist that they're protecting my interests by
> likening a piece of BSD code that goes closed source as a bad thing or
> as if it's not what I want?  That is precisely what I want people to
> be able to do!  That's a smart business for reusing someone else's
> wheel design, kinda like a dated patent.  

If you are a small software shop, you sell services.  So, what is
the biggest threat to that line of work?  Commoditization and customer
lock-in to big-vendor proprietary solutions.

GPL tilts the playing field against that.  (I am not "insisting"
you adopt GPL, just explaining one reason why GPL helps the small
shop and IS a rational decision.)

And yes, if you are selling a software library, we can see why
BSD-licensed code is more "sellable" than GPL-licensed code.  The
market is better.

But you haven't made your point as to why a "BSD+anti-copyleft" is
more sellable, unless your customer is MicroSoft, or other company
hoping to segment the world of open source software into as
many incompatible islands as possible.

> The GPL is like the
> perpetual patent though, it never expires and becomes usable to other
> businesses.  *shudder*

It only took you two paragraphs to break your promise to maintain the
distinction between closed source and commercial.  GPL software is
extremely usable in business.[1]

If you can't keep your promise on the distinction, don't post any more.


[1] Examples abound, but one that comes to mind is an business who would
never dream of releasing the code I write for them under the GPL or any OSI
certified license, but very happily uses GnuPG and the Windows drag-n-drop
program I gave them to send me proprietary data via email.  They didn't want to
open up their VPN to me and PKZIP encryption isn't very good.  Very cool.

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