Introducing Open Solutions Alliance

Rick Moen rick at
Mon Feb 5 22:16:27 UTC 2007

Back in mid-December, when discussion of Socialtext's Generic
Attribution Provision and "Exhibit B" clauses got going and I'd posted a
couple of initial comments (e.g., that the wording of Exhibit B clauses
seemed to stand in the way of code reuse), I was surprised to find Brian
Behlendorf querying me in offlist mail about my reaction to such
clauses.  Brian's a good guy, and I was glad to give my assessment (that 
there was nothing inherently wrong with forced advertising clauses per
se, that the OSD#10 gaffe needed to be fixed, and that intrusion on reuse
in commerce has to be minor enough not to violate OSD#3&6) -- but found
the experience odd.  For what reason was I being so promptly sounded out
in private?

Brian was of course one of OSI's founding Board members.  Lately, I'm
pretty sure his main concern has been

I noticed recently that on February 15, at a panel discussion at the
OpenSolutions Summit in NYC, Brian, representing, is going to
be introducing to the world a new "trade association", the Open
Solutions Alliance (OSA), about which curiously little is being said
except that it will be "focusing on business use of open source apps",
and "not as a standards body, but more like a Good Housekeeping Seal of
Approval thing.".  Robin Miller has an interesting article about it:

Business use of open source apps is of course a very good thing.
However, somewhat disturbingly, the main backer of the OSA, and owner of
its domain, appears to be yet another
proprietary Web 2.0 company posing to the public as an open source firm:
Dark Horse Ventures, LLC of Norfolk, Virginia, DBA CentricCRM.

CentricCRM publishes a "Community Edition" that is professed to be open
source, but after you download it (which is possible only after
registering and logging into their site), key code turns out to be under
the "Centric Public License" (CPL), which is of course proprietary and
used as an inducement to get people to buy separate commercial-use

CPL itself can be viewed here:

I note that the "Exhibit B" firms make a habit of using the concept of 
open source as "a Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval thing", and have
seemed allergic to the concept of submitting their in-use licences to
the applicable standards body.  Coincidence, or the upcoming vehicle for
further circumvention of OSI scrutiny?

"Superpolylogarithmic subexponential functions! / Faster than a polylog but slower
than exponential. / Even though they're hard to say, they're truly quintessential.
 / Superpolylogarithmic subexponential functions! / Um diddle diddle diddle, um 
diddle ay! / Um diddle diddle diddle, um diddle ay!"       -- John S. Novak, III

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