Badgeware licences, Take Two (was: Ethical Restriction)

Dave Rosenberg daverosenberg at
Thu Feb 1 05:19:43 UTC 2007

Let's just be clear about what exactly was said about the "license's main
point." You are taking the quote out of context in order to make your
argument. What I was specifically talking about was the method that would
allow users wanting to use Mule in a commercial product with no attribution.
In no circumstance did I say that the license was designed to force people
to pay. The license is there to protect our IP. However I do understand the
confusion around the license and my comments--and understand that we all may
interpret these things differently.

That said, I appreciate the feedback but wonder why not a single person who
has so much to say about these licensing issues ever said "hey, we think you
should consider changing this, and here is my recommendation." The same goes
for the FAQ. If you think the information is incorrect how about helping us
fix it? Ross and I are incredibly easy to get ahold of and have numerous
emails and phone numbers. 

You do note that we made a change yesterday that significantly softens the
attribution clause, which I have stated publicly that the old version may
have not made sense for us in the first place. I am not sure that this
license is the best choice, but we are still evolving. Give us a hand and
we'll send you a Mule T-shirt (uh-oh, there's that attribution again :>)

Rick Moen wrote:
> Quoting Matthew Flaschen (matthew.flaschen at
>> Their FAQ ( also has the
>> interesting interpretation that one cannot:
>> * Sell any MSPL covered code
>> * Sell derived works of Mule
> Yes.  You may recall I asked John Roberts of SugarCRM to explain how a
> very
> similar FAQ entry on _that_ firm's Web pages could possibly be
> consistent with SugarCRM supposedly being open source -- it's still
> there, by the way[1] -- and Roberts completely and scrupulously ignored
> my question.
> Isn't it funny how many of these folk suddenly become selectively unable
> to perceive your mail, the moment it starts including inconvenient
> questions?
> More to the immediate point, is there _anyone_ left on this mailing list
> who still doubts that the primary aim of all the "Exhibit B" addenda we've
> seen from these 20-odd companies (most having cloned and slightly
> mutated SugarCRM's clause, which pioneered the concept) is to impair
> commercial reuse?  The MuleSource and SugarCRM FAQs say third parties
> _may not sell derivatives_.  And MuleSource's CEO says outright that
> their licence's main point is to force commercial users to buy separate
> commercial licences![2]  How much clearer could this possibly be?
> Anyway, predictably, we're now seeing the beginning of Badgeware Take Two
> --
> MuleSource yesterday, probably Socialtext in a few days or so.  The new
> tack seems to be to _try_ to defuse the heretofore slam-dunk OSD#10
> argument (which effort from MuleSource I do appreciate, as it at least
> tries, and can probably be fixed in that area), but retains from Take
> One the "big logo with name and URL must be shoved into every user's
> face" notion.  Which, unlike an About screen that _isn't_ force-fed, is,
> as noted, _advertising, not attribution_.
> By analogy:  If I slip a movie DVD into my Linux iBook and launch Xine,
> I'm able to _skip_ the three minutes of trailers and Interpol notices
> the studios want me to have no choice but to sit through (which is why
> the Menu and similar remote-control buttons are locked out during
> startup, on consumer DVD players).  The badgeware companies want to
> mandate in perpetuity the same level of eyeball control over users --
> and I'll be surprised if Socialtext's resubmission doesn't follow suit.
> (If I end up being pleasantly surprised, great.)
> Something I forgot to address earlier.  Craig Muth wrote:
>> Although I think many here on the list have made valid refutations for
>> many points raised by SugarCRM, I think this one still stands:
>> > I guess they didn't notice that it's not open source.  They
>> > downloaded it, accessed the source, modified it, forked it, and
>> > redistributed it.  If it smells like open source and tastes like
>> > open source...maybe it's open source? 
> I'll bet John Roberts (and Craig Muth) would _really_ like SATAN, then.
> No, not Satan; SATAN, the Security Administrator Tool for Analyzing
> Networks, released in 1995 by Dan Farmer and Wietse Venema.  The licence
> is similar to that of pre-3.0 releases of Tripwire and the
> source-available (pre-6.0) releases of PGP:  You could download the
> source, access the source, modify the source, fork the source, and
> redistribute the source.
> If you weren't paying attention, you might consider those facts to
> constitute "smelling like open source and tasting like open source" --
> and might hastily conclude that it _was_ open source.  
> Until you read the licence.  If you were, and were paying attention,
> you'd realise that Farmer and Venema had reserved most commercial rights
> to themselves.
> Oh, John seems to have forgotten about that:  You can have the right to
> download, access, modify, fork, and redistribute the source, and yet it
> might _not_ be open source. 
> SATAN's still available:  It's just that nobody's cared in a decade,
> because its licensing crippled reuse, leaving a gap into which
> alternatives like Nessus stepped eventually.
> SugarCRM's rather softer licence -- as Ben Tilly would point out in all
> capital letters -- doesn't actually make commercial users UNABLE to
> exercise those rights.  It just seeks to make them UNWILLING.  (And
> their FAQ, of course, claims "UNABLE".)
> And that, friends, is what this is really all about.
> [1]  
> See
> for Monday's article about SugarCRM having raised over $26 million in
> venture capital, including $8 million from its main VC backer, Draper
> Fisher Jurvetson:  Obviously, there's a heavy VC push behind them.
> Board members include Josh Stein from Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Larry
> Augustin of Azure Capital Partners and Medsphere (also known to some of
> us from elsewhere), Mary Coleman formerly of Internet Capital Group.
> The Board of Advisors includes Matt Asay, and also Andrew Aitken of
> Olliance Group.  (Olliance is _also_ a recurring thread among these 20
> firms, and in general you keep seeing a lot of the same faces.)
> [2]
> -- 
> Cheers,        "History doesn't always repeat itself. Sometimes it just
> screams, 
> Rick Moen      'Why don't you listen to me?' and lets fly with a big
> stick." 
> rick at                               --John W. Campbell Jr.

View this message in context:
Sent from the OpenSource - License-Discuss mailing list archive at

More information about the License-discuss mailing list