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

Andrew C. Oliver acoliver at buni.org
Sun Jan 21 04:44:08 UTC 2007

As I understand it:

1. The GAP has been submitted.
2. Licenses submissions are judged by the board against the Open Source 

Thus WHETHER GAP should be approved will be judged by the board based on 
the open
source definition.

Whether the open source definition should be changed is another matter 
entirely.  The arguments we're mostly discussing now in which we're 
trying to form clearly expressed position papers 
http://www.buni.org/mediawiki/index.php/GAP_For) are based on the open 
source definition as it is presently expressed, not as the proponents or 
opponents of the proposal would like the OSD to be.

The below present a fairly decent summary on how we ended up here and why:



Peter Kloprogge wrote:
> Which # are you referring within the definition that limits an attribution 
> provision? #6 or #10 (or perhaps another)?
> I cannot comment on your other statements as I'm too new to open source. But it 
> does sound weird if the execution of the definition (in 10 statements) becomes 
> OSI's mission instead of having a clear/mission that is executed by 'managing' 
> the definition. Any good management will have a clear mission and vision and the 
> OSD should be the best possible definition towards the set mission. So I would 
> be very disappointed in OSI if indeed the OSD is the core mission!
> To state that, within my rationale, we could just as well accept shared source 
> is an insult. If distribution is key to OSI's mission, shared source won't comply!
> And once we start reading the front page it also mentions: "This site is still 
> evolving as we think through the implications of open source in the commercial 
> world. We don't claim to have all the answers yet, so mail us 
> <mailto:osi at opensource.org> with your thoughts and criticisms." And that's what 
> I'm doing, contemplating about how (what I expect to be) OSI's mission could be 
> better served in the commercial world.
> So the question remains: is an attribution provision against the current OSD 
> and, if so, is that a wise choice?
> Peter
> Matthew Flaschen wrote:
> > Peter Kloprogge wrote:
> >   
> >> 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.
> >>     
> >
> > Actually, yes there is.  It's called the Open Source Definition (not to
> > mention the Free Software definition and the Debian Free Software
> > Guidelines).
> >
> >   
> >> Just to go back one
> >> step, the home page of opensource.org clearly states:
> >>
> >> " The *basic idea behind open source* is very simple: When programmers can read, 
> >> redistribute, and modify the source code for a piece of software, the software 
> >> evolves. People improve it, people adapt it, people fix bugs. And this can 
> >> happen at a speed that, if one is used to the slow pace of conventional software 
> >> development, seems astonishing."
> >>     
> >
> > Why start at the second paragraph?  The first paragraph (indeed the
> > first sentence) says "Open Source Initiative (OSI) is a non-profit
> > corporation dedicated to managing and *promoting the Open Source
> > Definition* for the good of the community [...]" [emphasis added].
> >
> >   
> >> and it also states:
> >>
> >> "Open Source Initiative exists to make this case to the commercial world."
> >>     
> >
> > Not to cater blindly to the commercial world, but to persuade them.
> >
> >   
> >> The key issue here is that providing the possibility to add an attribution 
> >> provision doesn't hurt the basic idea (if enough contributors accept it) and it 
> >> certainly helps making a case to the commercial world.
> >>     
> >
> > The basic idea is the OSD.  The OSD predates OSI (as DFSG) and the OSD
> > (in current form) is the organization's core mission.
> >
> >   
> >> So OSI should allow (and perhaps even support) attribution provisions
> >>     
> > to fulfill its objectives and
> >   
> >> these objectives should take precedence above the ten definitions - if reasonable 
> >> attribution provisions don't comply with #10 change #10 and develop specific 
> >> rules with regards to attribution.
> >>     
> >
> > This would be the tail wagging the dog.  Why not change the OSD so that
> > shared source becomes OSI-approved too?  Because we're trying to
> > persuade companies to use real OSD-compliant licenses.  Letting them
> > persuade us to call non-compliant licenses open source is a betrayal of
> > OSI's mission.
> >
> > Matthew Flaschen
> >
> >   

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