[Fwd: FW: For Approval: Generic Attribution Provision]

Matthew Flaschen matthew.flaschen at gatech.edu
Sun Dec 17 05:27:47 UTC 2006

Craig Muth wrote:

> However if you released some software under BSD and someone
> grabbed your code and simply replaced all instances of "YourProject"
> with "Microsoft" (for example) and stuck it on their website and
> charged for it, I doubt many would consider this particular act good
> for open source, though I grant it wouldn't voilate the license.

Open source is a set of freedoms.  It makes no sense to say something is
good for freedoms; it can only be good for people.  This is certainly
good for the reseller.  It's bad for consumers, since they're paying but
getting no added value (and possibly not even getting source).  It's
also arguably bad for the original developer since they're losing
attention to someone who has contributed nothing; however, BSD
developers might not be care.  However, if there were truly *no* added
value, it would come out pretty quickly and people would move back to
the original package.

> If we're talking about projects whose source is open - for
> downloading, modifying, redistributing, and selling

The great thing about OSI approval is we don't just test based on
arbitrary verbs or whether they happen to be using a non-trademarked
phrase.  We have a handy OSD, and we can go down point-by-point.  I (and
many others) did that, and found the GAP very dubious on OSD #10.

> - and assuming
> they get their license to reasonably conform to the OSD, who are we to
> say it's not open source?

How about we say just "*conform*" and call it even?

> It is true that an attribution provision names terms which must be
> conformed to upon sale/redistribution of a *modifed* version, but the
> GPL and other licenses are a precedent for that.

By that argument, any license that allows selling modified versions is
OSI-compliant.  Any other details are just terms...

Matthew Flaschen

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