MS continued attack on OSD #6

Tzeng, Nigel H. Nigel.Tzeng at
Thu Mar 27 05:52:06 UTC 2008

You know, Open Source Definition and perhaps even "Open Source" might not include academic licenses.  
But I would think that "open source" as a generic term (no TM) is a little more inclusive of code that is exchanged so folks can do research and learn from it.  Sorry, but I can't get too worked up that MS is releasing code for AIDS research but not letting someone turn their contributed code into a business.
I guess they could call it "shared source" or something but there are objections to that as well.  And where but on CodePlex are they going to stick it anyway?
>I don't believe there is some grand MS consipiracy.  
You refer to it as a continued attack.  Presumably intentional rather than "misconception".  Hence, grand conspiracy to devalue the OSD by promoting some alternate definition.
>Either way, the misconception is continued to be re-stated by MS and
>seems to be spreading both inside and outside MS as a result.

Well, one of MS' responses was actually correct.  Academic sharing of code predates both "free" and "open" source.  Often there was a non-commercial requirement so it would more or less stay unencumbered from financial issues.  No commercial value and no one really cared if you gave it away.  If there is a commercial value you tend to get bean counters involved and sharing is reduced. 

Did MS attach the OSI Approved mark on MsCompBio?  No.
Did they label it as an academic, non-commercial license?  Yes.

>The "MS-OSD" as stated on Codeplex[1] is:  "An 'open source' style license means users
>are, without a fee, permitted to view the code, and run it at least for non-commercial purposes."

Yes, I pointed that out in my email.  As I said, if someone from the OSI asked I would think they would update their outdated FAQ.  Which likely has a bunch of other errors too since it seems unmaintained.

>Without having a common definition on open source, MS can justify
>their claims under the "MS-OSD."  Unless we can convince them that
>there still remains problems with being able to interoperate with
>OSI-OSD, they may choose to never fix what they consider not to be

A FAQ, especially one not all that great like on Codeplex, does not constitute a "MS-OSD".
>There are over 20 projects on Codeplex under non-commercial licenses
>and those are just the ones that I'm aware of.  Is there any projects
>on SourceForge that are under a non-commercial license?

There are 1650 projects on SourceForge that has Other in their license list.  I'm guessing that if you looked with the same frevor you can find projects there to object to as well.  I sure as heck aren't going to bother.
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