OSI enforcement?

Philippe Verdy verdy_p at wanadoo.fr
Tue Jan 8 23:22:17 UTC 2008

Tzeng, Nigel H. [mailto:Nigel.Tzeng at jhuapl.edu] wrote:
> So, no, I don't believe that the split was "most probably motivated by
> hidden supporters of proprietary licensing schemes" but a reaction to the
> polarization of the issue by free software proponents.

Unproven facts. The FSF has never condemned the existence of proprietary
schemes, but the fact that free software should have an equal right of
existence. ("Free as freedom" as they claim since always, not "free as as
beer"). The FSF supports the development of commerce, and even prohibits the
restriction of its licences against commercial use (so CC-NC licences are
incompatible and really non free.)

The FSF can't be accused of creating a polarization, because it has existed
long before OSI. The OSI is clearly an independent split of the movement
initially created, popularized and supported by the FSF. But the FSF also
recognized what others had made before (notably with the original BSD and
MIT licences, that have since then been abused and reused in closed
proprietary schemes because they were not enough protected, and that's the
main reason why the GPL was created).

Who is actually polarizing the debate? Not the OSI itself or its supporters.
It's clearly the supporters of closed proprietary schemes trying to divide
the movement, like they have already done against by severely impacting the
"public domain" (which was popular in the 1970's and the early 1980's) so
much that it is now very insecure and considered invalid and unusable (too
risky to use for long term projects) by many corporate or governmental
users, because it is now easily defeated by laws with retroactive effects
and by patents that can steal almost everything in it.

Personally, I won't create anything in the public domain now. We can only
trust the copyright in treaties and laws (author's right in countries with
Civil Code) because it is the only domain where we have security.

That's why I need and want author's names, country of origin, and year for
all contents (some open source or free software forget this complete
copyright line, in my opinion they are non-compliant if they don't have a
year of publication, and a country of origin to fix the legal regime, and a
way to determine an identifiable author). I am a strong supporter of
copyright protection for all free and open source contents. The "public
domain" is intrinsicly flawed as it does not protect its users from
illegitimate claims by others coming later with their patents (even those
registered *after*, because it's impossible to prove "prior art" with
content published in the public domain without the signature secured by the
copyright notice).

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