[License-discuss] proposal to revise and slightly reorganize the OSI licensing pages

Chad Perrin perrin at apotheon.com
Mon Jun 11 23:16:52 UTC 2012

On Mon, Jun 11, 2012 at 03:31:56PM -0700, Rick Moen wrote:
> Quoting Tzeng, Nigel H. (Nigel.Tzeng at jhuapl.edu):
> > On 6/11/12 3:54 PM, "Chad Perrin" <perrin at apotheon.com> wrote:
> > >
> > >Rather, I think the complaint is about people making hypocritical
> > >statements about exactly the kind of behavior they exhibit with regard to
> > >source code appropriation....
> Oddly enough, in the two _actual_ cases of code appropriation anyone
> eventually coughed up (ath5k and g4l), I was among the few people who
> actively told the malefactors in no uncertain terms, in public, that 
> they had greatly erred and needed to cease their copyright violation.
> The public Freshmeat.net comments in the g4l case were particularly
> striking, and I wish I could still point to them, but VA Research^W^W
> VA Linux Systems^W^W^W SourceForge, Inc.^W^W GeekNet, Inc. seem to have 
> flushed all comments away in a site redesign.

I don't know why you feel you have to defend your pedigree as someone
opposed to such source code appropriation behavior (legal or otherwise)
in response to what I said.  I never in any way suggested you condoned
such behavior.

> > >
> > >, and about people pretending there is no difference between two
> > >different edge cases of license effects when, in fact, there is a
> > >difference.
> The language about a 'fixed pool of open source developers' is
> revealing:  One notes the assumption of entitlement to mindshare.

No, I don't think it does.  I think it's *inaccurate* to say there's a
"fixed pool of open source developers", but it is accurate to say it is
scarce to some meaningful degree, and based on that it is reasonable for
someone to show concern about whether someone else's hypocritical
combination of behavior and rhetoric serves to create a one-way barrier
to the benefits of such development efforts going to an upstream project
while simultaneously attacking a separate group for creating one-way
barriers to the benefits of developer effort.

> Perhaps the easiest solution would be to regard copyleft as a
> subcategory of proprietary development.  Then it'd suddenly become OK
> again.

In some respects, it *is* a subcategory of proprietary development, in
that the conditions of copyleft licensing explicitly rely on copyright
law and the ability to place conditions on redistribution, while copyfree
licensing's target conditions are substantially similar to the case of a
world without copyright (and thus without proprietary software) within
the limited scope of the license's reach.  I don't know if that's the
cure-all for this recurrently contentious subject matter you seem to
suggest (correct me if I misunderstood your meaning, please), though.

Chad Perrin [ original content licensed OWL: http://owl.apotheon.org ]

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