OSI's war on corporate licenses

Bruce Perens bruce at perens.com
Tue Apr 12 20:46:46 UTC 2005

Mike Milinkovich wrote:hem."

>Pardon my ignorance, but precisely what do the authors mean by
>"asymmetrical"? I can guess, but the term is not defined anywhere in the
>document. And why are such licenses so bad that they are suddenly going to
>be discouraged where they were previously approved? Or if the authors really
>mean just "corporate" licenses, why didn't they say that instead?
I believe the meaning is "licenses that grant rights on new
modifications to the initial developer that are not granted to all of
the other developers". The right granted is generally an unlimited right
to relicense, essentially carte blanche to take the product private
tomorrow including all contributed modifications, or to bring out
"differentiated" versions of the product offering some functionality in
addition to that offered in the Open Source version when none of the
other partners can do that.

The original case was the NPL. Netscape had already entered into
contracts with other companies that required them to bring out the
product under a proprietary license.



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