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

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Sat Jan 20 22:09:24 UTC 2007

Quoting Peter Kloprogge (Kloprogge at planet.nl):

> Reading the arguments I get the strong impression that many feel an
> attribution provision is not supporting the general open source idea,
> but there is no definition that limits an attribution provision. But
> it doesn't make sense to use #10 as a stick to try and get rid of
> those provisions. 

Nobody's trying to use OSD#10 as a stick to try to get rid of those
provisions.  Indeed, speaking for myself, I'm not trying to get rid of
them at all, in the first place.  I think there's nothing _inherently_ 
wrong with a mandated-advertising licence for Web 2.0 and similar apps, 
and this is a licence space where OSI _should_ help, if possible.

The concern involving OSD#10 is limited to the merits of its fundamental
idea, which is really simple:  no dependence on particular technologies,
which we know from past decades' experience prevents code from being
adapted to new niches.  In particular, since the Generic Attribution
Provision patch requires a "display", and since its advocates (IIRC)
have clarified that they really _do_ mean a mandated display, then
covered code cannot be used to make daemons and similar no-display code.

Ergo, that paragraph as presently worded is simply not OSD-compliant --
irrespective of other concerns.

However, in your broader argument, you are furiously arguing with a
position nobody here holds, and nobody here has ever articulated.

And, frankly, I think you already knew that.

> Especially smaller companies (entrepeneurs with low
> marketing power) will look for open source to improve software and to
> develop a market position. They'll put relatively large amounts of
> investments themselves to develop the software and to build a business
> around it. Some of them just can't accept the risk that a big company
> with monopolistic behavior takes their work and investments and use
> their marketing power to make it seem like it's theirs.

Guess what?  That's always been the case with open source.  If you
didn't see them the first time, please go read Michael Tiemann's
excellent comments about how CYGNUS gradually came to convince
embedded-code developers that open source made sense for them despite 
facing more "market position" threats than our little gang of about 20
Web 2.0 companies have ever dreamed of.

If you (generic "you") simply can't bear the thought of some other firm
using your code to compete against you, then maybe open source just
isn't for you, in the first place.

>  Let the market decide:

I've heard quite enough of intellectually bankrupt "Let the market
decide" arguments from these 20-odd tiny-yet-pushy firms and their
sundry hangers-on.  Sorry, this question is not being consigned to 
"the market":  It's to be judged by the OSI Board.

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