[Fwd: FW: For Approval: Generic Attribution Provision]
brian at collab.net
Wed Dec 13 17:19:04 UTC 2006
On Wed, 13 Dec 2006, Matthew Flaschen wrote:
> Lawrence Rosen wrote:
> I'm curious why so many
>> companies seem to want such strong attribution in UIs of other companies'
>> modified software?
> That's a very good question, and I don't know for sure. However, I
> think part of it is that they don't take OSD #3 seriously. They expect
> copies to have minor or non-existent changes, and want to emphasize that
> they own and control the program; the accuracy of this obviously varies
There are an unfortunate number of Open Source projects where
contributions from people who are not the primary authors are nil; and
likewise, there are examples of non-OS-but-published-source projects where
outside contributions are not nil. We all know that OS licensing is not
magic pixie dust that will guarantee outside contributions; even high
quality code and a willing core developer pool can't do much if the domain
is too specialized or the skillset gap between users and developers is too
great. Therefore, sadly IMHO, most of the business value of Open Source
licensing is seen to be in rapid adoption, easy redistribution, and a
better way to build ISV/VAR partnerships. So, if you're the company
funding that Open Source project, you've got to do things to address the
problem that your competitors can build support and customization
businesses on your code without the concurrent investment; and that people
who are your partners today could easily become competitors tomorrow by
shifting a line in their product roadmaps. This is completely aside from
the point about whether we need a GPL-for-web-services, as there are many
companies these days that are services-only.
So in that context, it's not surprising that some companies feel that even
the GPL's quid pro quo is not strong enough, because a service-only
competitor won't have interesting code. Instead, the requirement is "make
sure your customers know that I wrote the code you're making money from",
with a link, thereby giving the original author some unfair advantage over
redistributors. Presumably most original authors also offer a second
license, for real dollars, that removes the logo, the classic dual
> Probably the drafters didn't really fathom people
> extracting code for totally unrelated use.
Oh they probably do, they just probably assign zero value to it.
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