AW: AW: For Approval: German Free Software License

Axel Metzger metzger at
Fri Nov 26 13:15:41 UTC 2004

Hello Bernhard, hello list,

>> I understand your point. But it seems to me like a new requirement not
>> yet stated in the OS-definition. The point is based on some kind of
>> mistrust that the Ministry and the Max-Planck-Society will use this
>> in the License to rip off programmers. I think that this is wrong.
>> Please note that the German State of Nordrhein-Westfalen represents
>> more than 50 (!) universities that will use the license afterwards. The
>> Max-Planck-Society has about 90 big research institutes. They already
>> published the GFSL. That means that they cannot just like this change
>> the rules of the license without having any problem. I know that these
>> facts do not create as such a feeling of trust. However, I would very
>> appreciate if you could take into account the chance to come to some
>> arrangement between OSI and the GFSL-people. They can survive without
>> certified by anybody. This is e.g. the way the French CNRS acts with
>> "cecil"-License. I do not see that CNRS even tried to talk to anybody. I
>> just saying this to give you a realistic idea about the political
>> implications. Both sides should be interested to cooperate with the
>> from the other side of the Atlantic.

>What you are trying to establish in this paragraph is beside the point.

Oops, are you the one to say what is to and what is beside the point? 

>It sounds like a combination of an appeal to authority (*) with an
>appeal to the number of universities/institutes involved (+). You are
>adding the argumentation "others are doing worse" as an excuse that
>isn't logically or ethically valid either.

To sum it up: I was adding an argument on political feasibility and
opportunities to the already made arguments. 

>> However, my preferred model to come to a compromise would be to provide
>> the statute of the license board the requirement that "new versions of
>> License must be similar in its policies and follow the model of Free and
>> Source Software." If OSI has the manpower to get a member in the license
>> board one should talk about this. These issues must be considered
>> with the Ministry and the Max-Planck-Society. I can guarantee nothing.
>IMHO, OSI cannot offer a compromise. You're logically not fulfilling
>the requirements and now you want to bend the rules, using logical
>fallacies as argumentation.

If the requirements are fulfilled is not a pure question of logic. It's a
process of interpretation with a margin. 

All the best


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