For Approval: Open Source Software Alliance License

Sean Chittenden sean at
Mon Sep 29 23:05:26 UTC 2003

> > > The problem here, Sean, which you seem to be ignoring, is that
> > > you're treating the GPL as if it were somehow *worse* than a
> > > proprietary license.  It isn't.
> >
> > Ah, but it is though.  Hear me out:
> >
> > A proprietary license doesn't foster a community to stand behind
> > it to work on software that is unavailable to widget makers.
> Well, it seems the OSSAL fosters a community to stand behind it to
> work on software that may be later *usurped* by widget makers. See
> below.
> > The GPL was, with I believe malintent, crafted specifically toward
> > preventing widget makers from basing products on existing code.
> > Further, the GPL encourages primary copyright holders to release
> > code that is unusable to anyone but the primary copyright holders.
> Speaking of malintent, it may be argued that the OSSAL encourages a
> corporation with a large amount of financial backing to issue a
> large "upgrade" to their or someone else's open source product and
> issuing it as closed source software for sale, thereby essentially
> doing a "bait and switch" tactic. But this is already allowable
> under BSD. No, the OSSAL tries to *prohibit* someone else from
> exercising the same freedoms over the code to create a GPL fork.

But that's free enterprise and something that they can do... now they
have to maintain it, perform their own audits, etc.  While I
personally would request that those changes be sent back to the
community, I believe it to be the large corporation's right to do so.
In granting them that right, I also am granted the right to do the
same if I see it fit.  That's free will and the "right" or "wrong"
choice will be determined by the markets.


> In that spirit, I would like to suggest that the issue at hand
> cannot be resolved by the Dialectic -- arguments to zero in on the
> truth.

I fully agree that there is next to zero chance for a complete
consensus as to what's right, best, etc., but I think that arguments
such as these are a wonderful tool/aid to strengthening each
everyone's positions (for better or worse) and then letting life
determine the rest.

> Sean is, as far as I can tell, coming from a politically "rightist"
> perspective, whereas folks like RMS are coming from a "leftist"
> perspective.

Please, please, please don't lump me in with the political right
wingers.  The extent of what I will say on politics is that I believe
in market driven economies and letting _open_ markets correct
themselves.  The Open Source world is as good of an open market as
I've ever seen.



Sean Chittenden
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