For Approval: Open Source Software Alliance License

Ernie Prabhakar prabhaka at
Fri Sep 26 19:57:02 UTC 2003

On Sep 26, 2003, at 12:46 PM, Russell Nelson wrote:

> Sean Chittenden writes:
>>> The GPL interferes with the creation of proprietary software.
>> Correct, which is what I object to and why I created the OSSAL.
>> 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.
> That's really perverse, Sean.  Pretend that the GPL is a proprietary
> license for software distributed by the FSF.  Let's say that this
> business (the FSF) takes a piece of BSD-licensed software, makes even
> a trivial modification, and licenses it under their proprietary
> license (the GPL).  The software leaves the realm of software
> modifiable by you, or anyone else who wants to make proprietary
> changes.  You say this is bad, but it's exactly the same thing that
> happens when any other company does the same thing.  Why do you want
> your license to discriminate against the FSF?

It sounds to me like Sean really wants to avoid the emergence of a 
alternative, viable Open Source fork of his project under the GPL. That 
is, he is less concerned about what happens to the code per se, and 
more concerned about the -community- being split by having two 
interesting public code bases under different licenses.   Particularly 
if the interesting stuff starts happening under a GPL license, and ends 
up obsoleting the original (BSD) codebase.

Is that correct, Sean?

I don't know if that's a good or bad thing, or even a valid concern in 
general, but I think it is at least a coherent position.

-- Ernie P.

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