License Committee Report for September 2008

Alex Wang alexwang at
Tue Nov 4 23:54:42 UTC 2008



From: Bruce Perens [mailto:bruce at] 
Sent: Wednesday, November 05, 2008 1:45 AM
To: Alex Wang
Cc: 'Russ Nelson'; 'allison shi'; license-review at;
Subject: Re: License Committee Report for September 2008

Alex Wang wrote:

 > Futhermore, GPL conflicts with the "modifiable" part of that sentence
because a very large set of potential modifications(business software)
become an act of copyright infringement under GPL license.


 >> This is saying that a program is not freely usable, modifiable, and
redistributable unless its license permits the combination of that program
with another program that is not freely usable, modifiable, and
redistributable, to create a result that is not freely usable, modifiable,
and redistributable. Some people agree with that. Not everybody.
 >> The OSD was written to allow the GPL and a number of other licenses that
existed at that time. 
Whether or not, GPL not allow freely modification, GPL has some restict to
the modification. If you recognize that GPL complies OSD, you should also
recognize that OSD is NOT what you said. The restriction of UOML license is
less than GPL, since UOML license allows a result that is not freely usable.
Why GPL is apotheosis while UOML license is evil?

 > We are in China and can not find any attorney who understands Open Source
as you required.

 >> I am not in a position to require anything. I am stating that you have
so far failed to gain acceptance by the OSI board - and I am not a member of
that board - because you don't have the services of such an attorney. I
would have thought that Surisen and the other companies involved could
afford to use the services of Mr. Updegrove or another attorney remotely,
via email. I don't think it is necessary for him to practice Chinese law to
solve this problem. I often use attorneys who are not allowed to practice
law in my state. 
The problem is not attorney, but OSI board, if you were representative of
them. We need persuade OSI board to correct their wrong policy. Furthermore,
although you are not in a position to require anything, OSI board is. OSI
requires more and more open source software, just like charity requires
donation. I haven't heard of any charity refusing a donation because its
amount is not large enough, but you refuse open source software because its
limitation to modified version is not free enough. I beleive OSI board has
different opinion than you at this point.

 > We [...] are hurt by the refusal from open source community, because you
said our endeavor would have NEGATIVE effect!

 >> I am supportive of your desire to release Open Source software. I am
sure that you are wonderful programmers and standards writers. You are not
yet as wonderful at creating Open Source licenses. That is the only problem.

 Fail to meet the requriement of OSD is different than being negative effect
of open source. We provide the possibility to freely use software that users
needed pay before, and anyone can freely upgrade, I don't think this kind of
endeavour has negative effect to open source community. A wise man should
appologize for such absurdity.

At last, OSI should pay attention to the requirement of interoperability.
Users really require it. Please, hear the voice from market, instead of
talking about empty definition on paper. To accept the  the requirement of
interoperability is easier than to accept the requirement of business usage.
Since OSI has accept the latter, OSI is able to accept former.


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