For Approval: Open Source Software Alliance License

Ian Lance Taylor ian at
Sat Sep 27 00:21:54 UTC 2003

Ernie Prabhakar <prabhaka at> writes:

> 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.

That is at least a comprehensible concern, unlike the ones which Sean
has posted so far.  I would be interested in hearing whether he agrees
with it.

I wouldn't worry about such a thing myself, mind you--forks against
the wishes of the author are very rare in practice, and I can't think
of a single succesful fork which changed the licensing conditions.
But I can understand how somebody might have this as a theoretical

If this is really the problem, I think a more appropriate solution
might be something like ``in any derivative work which includes
source, the source must be under this license; however there are no
restrictions on derivative works which do not include source.''  That
would be GPL-incompatible, of course, but I think it would more
clearly express the concern and be less divisive.

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