For Approval: Open Source Software Alliance License

Russell Nelson nelson at
Sun Sep 28 19:25:51 UTC 2003

Sean Chittenden writes:
 > > > > What I'm trying to understand is why you say that incorporating BSD
 > > > > code in a proprietary product is a good thing and simulataneously
 > > > > say that incorporating BSD code in a GPL product is a bad thing.
 > > > 
 > > > Changes made to the BSD code by the authors of the GPL product are
 > > > changes that are available only under the GPL.
 > > 
 > > Yes, and changes made to the BSD code by the authors of a proprietary
 > > product are changes that are only available to the authors of the
 > > proprietary product.
 > > 
 > > What's the essential difference?
 > If the changes are outside of the scope of a business's core, then
 > maintaining those changes is expensive and it is in the businesses
 > best interests to release those changes.  The OSSAL prevents those
 > changes from being licensed under the GPL, making those changes
 > available to other widget makers.

You aren't answering Ian's question (which is also my question).

What is the difference between this proprietary license:

  "You can do anything to this code but sell it"

and the GPL?  Both of them interfere with solving the problem that you
say the OSSAL addresses.  Yet the OSSAL only prohibits the latter and
not the former.

The OSSAL doesn't work.  Consider using the EU Datagrid license instead.

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