Definition of open source

Alan Rihm alan at
Sun Nov 7 18:09:34 UTC 2004

Michael - We had a reputable firm in Philadelphia (PA) give us an
opinion, and the resulting opinion was that current OSI approved
licenses (single or dual strategy) do not serve our purposes "as-is". We
did, however, base our license on the Mozilla 1.1 license since we are
ok with many of the provisions. The changes were limited to do the

 - Make certain that redistribution was free
(except that you may charge fees for the media on  which you distribute
the Contributor Version or your Modifications and for related shipping

 - Require companies who wish to make a profit by offering our software
as a service to partner with us. (Initial and Contributor Grant - You
may not operate the Covered Code in or as part of a
commercially-available hosted service, nor may You charge others for
access to or use of the Covered Code (whether in Source Code or
Executable form) over a network)

The remainder of the license is virtually the same.

They noted that other clients were also unable to utilize existing
licenses to serve their needs without certain modifications that
currently conflict with the OSI definition.


-----Original Message-----
From: Michael R. Bernstein [mailto:webmaven at] 
Sent: Sunday, November 07, 2004 10:28 AM
To: alan at
Cc: license-discuss at
Subject: RE: Definition of open source

On Sun, 2004-11-07 at 05:30, Alan Rihm wrote:
> No appologies needed. Your response was clear. Note that I'm not 
> looking to be convinced or to convince you. I started with an 
> observation (based on perception) regarding the current definition and

> licenses. Then I presented a business case that warrants a discussion.

You haven't said what about your business case is not satisfied by
strategies based on current OSI-approved licenses.

Shall I assume that you now understand that these licenses are suitable?

>  Since this is
> clearly not a case of right or wrong, but rather opinion, I'm happy 
> with the responses provided so far.

At least some of your opinions were obviously based on erroneous
assumptions on matters of fact, which I (and others) have attempted to
correct. So far, you seem to have ignored those corrections as *also*
being opinion.

I find this curious, to say the least. Are you so wedded to your
conclusion (that the OSI definition of open source needs to change) that
you are unable to re-examine the premises that conclusion is based on?

Michael R. Bernstein <webmaven at>

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