OSI enforcement?

Philippe Verdy verdy_p at wanadoo.fr
Tue Jan 8 22:17:03 UTC 2008

Robin 'Roblimo' Miller [mailto:robin at roblimo.com]
> Moot in any case. The service mark is easier to protect, and I believe
> the moral/branding force is more important than legality here.  A nice
> jingle with the tagline/close "OSI... means freedom" would do more good
> than 1000 lawyers dictating briefs to 10,000 legal secretaries at an
> hourly rate of 500 EU/hour.

If OSI would mean "freedom", I would applaude this, if at least the OSI
movement could reconcile its positions with the FSF. I do belive that
there's much more to gain by rejoining the two movements, and put an end to
the split that occurred in the past, most propably motivated by some hidden
supporters of proprietary licencing schemes that tried to divide the common
interests, and infiltrate some doubts and fears within the spirit of
deciders in organizations.

We can see now how this split is damageable, and how the proprietary
licencing supporters are trying to defeat the free and open-source movement
by legal threats: they have largely supported the unification of all rights
related laws into a single expression "intellectual property rights" and
they have won what they were looking for, because now they have
international treaties and laws throughout the world to support the concept.

Our best protection is to join our efforts and get the same level of
protection, using the same arguments and legal terminology to protect our
free open source licences, and protect our authors and our users against
unjustified legal harassment (if you look into the main motivation of GPLv3,
it's clear that this is in reaction to the ongoing tightening of binds
between all these rights under the WIPO treaties, or European EUDC
directives and their national legal implementation and ratification

I can understand that open source supporters and free software supporters
are quite frightened about joining the forces (because any legal defeat
could impact the whole movement). But doing nothing is certainly as much
frightening and deserves the same legal weakening of our licences,
threatened now by indirect rights (notably patents and trademark laws,
because of the various international equivalences that are being made to
bind these rights together; this has already occurred within the protection
space of domain names, and I see no reason why these bindings would stop
proliferating now).

Already, the "public domain" is severely affected, and laws have been passed
with retroactive effects in US and Russia. There's an attempt now to do to
the "open source" or "free software" the same damaging thing that has been
done to the public domain (and if you look more closely in the history of
"open source" or "free software", the creation of licences was already a
reaction to the complications and insecurity of the public domain, because
of the increasing volume of laws bound now to the author's right and
copyright, those association being protected and recognized now
internationally under WIPO's treaties and their ratification by its
signatory member states (even if not everything has still been implemented
in national law, these will unavoidingly happen).

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