An explanation of the difficulty of solving license proliferation in one sentence
david.dillard at veritas.com
Wed Mar 9 17:40:59 UTC 2005
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Forrest J. Cavalier III [mailto:mibsoft at mibsoftware.com]
> Sent: Wednesday, March 09, 2005 12:30 PM
> To: Open Source License Discussion List
> Cc: Forrest J. Cavalier III
> Subject: Re: An explanation of the difficulty of solving
> license proliferation in one sentence
> > Software that meets the Open Source Definition is Open Source. OSI
> > should do its job and certify it.
> Agreed. If the OSI wants to change its definition of its
> job, then someone else will spring up to safeguard the OSD.
> I've been patiently waiting for Nelson, Fink, and Raymond to
> come to their senses this week.
> Hasn't happened. So here's a cluestick.
> If fewer and compatible licenses are needed in order to allow
> the big corporate interests easy picking, then it is kind of
> hard to hold a middle ground: Everyone must accept the GPL.
> It wins by sheer numbers.
"Fewer" does not mean "one."
> If that is unacceptable, then someone pushing for this would
> be kind to present a rational argument for allowing other
> licenses to exist that also excludes new licenses.
> Licenses exist to serve the needs of the SOFTWARE AUTHORS.
> Since there are many, many more small organizations writing
> software, they deserve preference. Licenses are not, and
> should not be, written primarily to conform to the needs of
> the licensees,
Primarily? No. But if open source authors want their software to be
adopted by as wide an audience as possible, they SHOULD carefully choose
the license they use.
> and especially not primarily to the needs of
> big corporate licensees so that "more big corps get on board
> open-source software."
Are you against making ANY changes to help corporations use open source?
If so, why?
> If a project wants to use a license that is not well accepted
> and not compatible with other licenses, then yes, they should
> be gently reminded of that at license submission, but they
> must remain free to do that and take the consequences of
> Why should they care if their OSD-compliant vanity license
> conflicts with all of HP's open source IP? They should care
> by natural consequences, not artificial ones. They have
> incentive enough to create compatible IP, without the OSI
> deciding FOR THEM.
> Make no mistake, these 3 principles are not about reducing
> OSI workload, it is a method that LICENSEES are attempting to
> force artificial consequences onto authors who desire to
> release OSS software under licenses incompatible with
> someone's "approved list."
It's not about "forcing," it's about "asking." There's no way for a
licensee to force a licensor to change their license.
Open Source is supposed to be community. People in a community
cooperate, that's what makes it a community.
> That someone wants to create artificial consequences is just
> one of the opening salvos in the next OSS war: locking
> everything into a few licenses using patent grants and mutual
> termination clauses.
> That will play out in our lifetimes, but it seems that HP et
> al can't wait and want to shoehorn projects into a smaller
> subset of licenses now.
> I predict that if OSI makes the 3 new conditions part of
> license approval, it will soon lose its power to influence
> opinion of those who really matter: AUTHORS who are
> philosophically aligned with the OSD. Some other
> organization will spring up to guard the OSD which is not
> "serving two masters."
> Actually, I don't even know why I'm writing. I'm not at all
> concerned about this gambit. At worst, the OSI will
> marginalize itself, again.
> It still irks me that the people who formed the OSI really
> bungled (and still bungle) the branding strategy that was
> going to be important to increase FLOSS acceptance
> commercially. Tis a pity. How many years did it take to get
> a logo? Who's enforcing its application now?
> Does Raymond still think he is doing all the pushing towards
> commercial OSS acceptance? High profile stories like SCO vs
> IBM, GNU/Linux, Firefox, and OpenOffice have done way more
> than the OSI's non-attempts like high profile open source branding.
> These 3 "making it simpler for suits" principles are not
> going to help as intended either. (Oh, something will
> CHANGE, but that isn't the same as HELP."
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