For Approval: Transitive Grace Period Public Licence, v1.0

Russ Nelson nelson at
Wed Feb 18 02:02:32 UTC 2009

Christopher Schmidt writes:
 > On Tue, Feb 17, 2009 at 07:36:48PM -0500, Russ Nelson wrote:
 > > Not until we say so.
 > How is that? Open source is a term.

True.  It is a term with a generally-agreed meaning: OSI approval.

 > I release open source (or Open Source) software that is not under an OSI
 > Approved license, because that software meets the Open Source
 > Definition.

How is anyone to know that?  By this standard, "open source" means
everything and nothing.  It means whatever the person who is saying it
wants it to mean -- including people who are hostile to open source,
free software, open data, and free anything.

I reject that standard.

If you don't want to use an OSI Approved license, then call it free
software.  Open Source has a meaning: the use of an OSI Approved

Do I have the legal ability to force you to use open source this way?
No.  It is not a trademark.  But do I have to cooperate with you if
you use it this way?  No, I do not.

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