Definition of open source

Bjorn Reese breese at
Sun Nov 7 12:52:21 UTC 2004

On Sat, 2004-11-06 at 22:23, Alan Rihm wrote:

> It seems to come down to opinions on what open source should be. My
> opinion is that there is room for another definition. One that allows
> for more flexibility with distribution rights. My research has uncovered
> many so called "non-compliant" licenses, which clearly signals that
> there is a need for some change. At a minimum, I'm not the only one who
> thinks it is worth discussing.

This is indeed the crux of the discussion. I agree that there is room
for another definition, but it just isn't called Open Source anymore.

It is important to keep in mind that the Open Source community existed
long before the term "Open Source" was coined, and the Open Source
Definition merely is an attempt to verbalize a number of principles
that were already agreed-upon by the community. You will therefore be
unlikely to see any significant changes that compromises those

The Open Source community has spent significant resources in building
the "product" (that is, the software and the brand.) If you want to
leverage this investment, you must play by the Open Source rules. If
you disagree with the rules of the game, then you cannot play the game.
But there is nothing stopping you from creating your own game.

Remember that there already are two distinct communities, Open Source
and Free Software, that play by slightly different rules. Surely there
is room for another.

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