Definition of open source

Steven Noels stevenn at
Mon Nov 8 07:32:19 UTC 2004

On 08 Nov 2004, at 00:06, Alan Rihm wrote:

> Release a project under GPL, Mozilla, whatever. The same code base (not
> forked) is what we plan to go to market with through a reseller 
> channel.
> We call the reseller and say "would you like to sell our product in a
> hosted environment?". They say, sure, I'll just download the free
> version and do so. They have no responsibility to pay us unless they
> don't have the technical ability to work with the open project. It does
> not suffice to just say that they "will pay you". We have evidence that
> this is not going to happen without a license that requires it.

My business experience with 2 not-so-little open source projects we 
created & released ourselves: if your "open source business strategy" 
depends on conditional license conditions (or dual-licensing, but 
that's not the topic of this thread), you have to reconsider whether 
open source _is_ going to eventually help your business at all. People 
_will_ do business with you because of added-value you can provide to 
them, but _not_ because the license _demands_ them to do business with 
you: they'll rather go elsewhere. I am tempted to think that your 
issues with the original OSI definition originate from an incertitude 
with regards to the possible value-add you can provide.

While I can't agree with the tone of speech being used in this 
discussion, I agree with the fact that you are trying to overload Open 
Source with semantics which are simply hostile to the very basic ideas 
behind the definition, and that your initiative should be discussed 
elsewhere, if at all.

Tongue-in-cheek: please consider the decency of not trying to 
circumvent conditions in a license which has been fostering projects 
your company depends on:

stevenn [~] $ curl --head
HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Date: Mon, 08 Nov 2004 07:28:49 GMT
Server: Apache/2.0.48 (Fedora)
Last-Modified: Tue, 12 Oct 2004 21:08:20 GMT
ETag: "2e0085-445d-7a0e7900"
Accept-Ranges: bytes
Content-Length: 17501
Content-Type: text/html; charset=UTF-8


Steven Noels                  
Outerthought - Open Source Java & XML            An Orixo Member
Read my weblog at  
stevenn at                stevenn at

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