[License-review] Support for SSPL v2

Rob Landley rob at landley.net
Thu Dec 13 01:44:42 UTC 2018

On 12/12/18 7:23 PM, Greg Luck wrote:
> Hi
> I wanted to offer our support to SSPL v2.

I'd like to offer my support for Universal Basic Income. I consider the
sentiments roughly equivalent in this context.

> In our opinion, applying a copyleft
> provision to those providing the software as a service by a Cloud Provider is a
> great idea, and within the spirit of the original intent of copyleft. 
> There is a great need in the open source community for a license that places
> obligations on service wrappers. Cloud Providers as we know them now did not
> exist when the open source movement came into being. It is a special case.

Richard Stallman railed about the "Application Service Provider loophole" in a
talk he gave at LinuxWorld Expo in 2000. It was his main gripe with GPLv2 at the
time. I was there, I think it was this one?


GPL version 3 came out 6 years later. If he and Eben Moglen working together for
half a decade couldn't manage to address the issue and still call the result
"Free Software", what makes you think you're going to?

It's been _18_years_ since that conference. The "great need" hasn't really
intensified since. The dot-com boom was at least as gung-ho about cornering the
market on every possible niche as the modern "cloud" business models.

(Cloud is the marketing term used for "the PC got kicked up into the server
space like mainframes and minicomputers before it". Mainframe -> minicomputer ->
microcomputer -> smartphone, I gave my own talk about _that_ 5 years ago,
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SGmtP5Lg_t0#t=29 and blogged about it back in
2010 http://landley.net/notes-2010.html#09-10-2010 . This is not a new thing.)

If the consensus on this list so far from people like Lawrence Rosen has been
"that's now how copyright law and open source work", how is "but that's now how
I WANT them to work" going to help?


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