Rob Lanphier robla at
Thu Apr 14 00:53:34 UTC 2005

On Wed, 2005-04-13 at 20:14 -0400, Michael R. Bernstein wrote:
> I do have a problem with licenses that effectively enable a one-sided
> proprietary business model that is (potentially) parasitic on others'
> efforts, and which ensures that the ID never has to compete with non-
> proprietary forks (since they can always assimilate others'
> improvements and add them to their proprietary 'value added' version).

Is this a theoretical concern or an actual concern?  Most asymetric
licenses are not strong copyleft.  Therefore, it would be possible to
put improvements in new source files with an entirely different license,
one that even ensures that the "original parasite" would need to pay to
incorporate the code into a proprietary product.  Fork achieved.

Even RPSL, which is strong copyleft and has asymmetric elements to it,
has the concept of a "compatible source license", which would
potentially allow for this type of licensing, within limits.  Those
limits are worth discussing further.

Do all of the arguments against asymmetry assume 'viral' asymetry, or is
there a problem with even localized asymmetry?

Rob Lanphier, Development Support Manager - RealNetworks
Helix Community: 
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