[License-review] Legacy Approval: APL AROS Public License.

John Cowan cowan at mercury.ccil.org
Fri Jul 27 17:47:16 UTC 2012

Karl Fogel scripsit:

> While this in itself does not make the code non-open-source, it is,
> shall we say, a *highly* unusual way to run an open source project.  

Let's not confuse open source as a licensing strategy with its homonym,
open source as a development process.  Providing access to the source only
on request is well within the limits of the licensing strategy: indeed,
it's what the FSF used to do, providing source on tape only on request.
Indeed, a demand to prove satisfactorily that you have a copy of the
binary before you can get the source would still not violate the OSD.

> In any case, I'm not sure it would make sense for OSI to approve a
> license (which is a very long-lasting act) because of a temporary
> political delay on the part of the licensor(s).  The AROS team is going
> to solve this decision problem eventually -- hopefully soon, and they'll
> do it sooner if there's a strong motivation.  Relicensing under Mozilla
> 2.0, which is already OSI-approved, could be that motivation.

I agree as a practical matter.

> Again, there is still the more urgent question of who exactly owns the
> copyright now.  If you're having trouble figuring out who can decide
> about relicensing, then you may have larger issues on your hands.

The Scheme standard has operated with unclear copyright since 1985, with
major published revisions in 1986, 1991, 1998, 2007, and if all goes well
2012 as well, each with a new set of editors (really authors/revisers).
The license, which is trivially Open Source, has always said:

    We intend this report to belong to the entire Scheme community,
    and so we grant permission to copy it in whole or in part without
    fee. In particular, we encourage implementors of Scheme to use this
    report as a starting point for manuals and other documentation,
    modifying it as necessary.

I don't know half of you half as well           John Cowan
as I should like, and I like less than half     cowan at ccil.org
of you half as well as you deserve.             http://www.ccil.org/~cowan

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