OSI's war on corporate licenses

Mike Milinkovich mike.milinkovich at eclipse.org
Tue Apr 12 21:20:17 UTC 2005

OK, just when I thought I understood, I am confused again.

Bruce defined the term as: "...licenses that grant rights on new
modifications to the initial developer that are not granted to all of the
other developers". 

Chuck then expands the conversation to use BSD as an example of such a
license. It doesn't take long to read the BSD license, and I do not see any
asymmetrical license grants in that license as defined by Bruce. In fact,
the BSD does not grant any licenses to any modifications to anyone from what
I can see. Based on Bruce's definition, the BSD should not be considered

So which one is correct? 

I really don't mean to seem pedantic here. But if we cannot agree on what a
word means, it doesn't seem to me that we will ever be able to agree on
anything. Or even agree to disagree. Which is the more likely case from what
I read on this mailing list ;-)

Mike Milinkovich
Executive Director,
Eclipse Foundation, Inc.
mike.milinkovich at eclipse.org

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Chuck Swiger [mailto:chuck at codefab.com] 
> Sent: April 12, 2005 4:58 PM
> To: Bruce Perens
> Cc: mike.milinkovich at eclipse.org; license-discuss at opensource.org
> Subject: Re: OSI's war on corporate licenses
> Bruce Perens wrote:
> [ ... ]
> > 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.
> Sure.  This is exactly what many Open Source developers want to do.
> > 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.
> Complaining that the MPL hasn't been productive enough to 
> suit your tastes is hardly called for.  Besides, the original 
> case was the BSD license.
> It still has a strong community approximately thirty years 
> after adoption circa 1977, and BSD licensed code is a 
> significant or critical component of almost every shipping 
> system out there, starting with Microsoft, and including 
> MacOS, Linux, Free/Open/NetBSD, and many others.
> --
> -Chuck

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