[License-review] Support for SSPL v2

Bruce Perens bruce at perens.com
Tue Dec 18 23:29:33 UTC 2018

On Thu, Dec 13, 2018 at 6:07 AM Nigel T <nigel.2048 at gmail.com> wrote:

> Frankly, this is just an end run around the fact that non-commercial
> licenses aren’t considered to be open source.

Yes. I think we need to reiterate that OSI doesn't prevent you from using
any license. Just don't call it Open Source. If people find it compelling
enough, they will use it.

The problem is generally that the license is *not *sufficiently compelling
to build a community, and the submitter believes it will magically become
so if OSI sprinkles approval fairy dust upon it.

I disagree that academic/NC licenses aren’t open source but that’s the way
> it’s been.

You mean educational-use-only. This community uses "academic" to refer to
the BSD/MIT style of license and in general ones without copyleft.

The rules of Open Source were first designed for the Debian distribution of
Linux, and then found wider adoption. One of the goals was for everyone to
be able to use Debian, without having to hire a lawyer just to be able to
run the software. Inclusion of educational use only software would have
severely restricted the audience for the Debian distribution. Having been
adopted by a wider community than Debian, this is extended to mean that
everybody can run Open Source software for any purpose and should not have
to hire a lawyer just to run it. Which seems to have a very broad buy-in.

One has to ask where is the educational-use-only community, and how are
they promoting themselves? Nobody's stopping them. What I see is that some
individual programs have small communities, but there is no aggregation of
them to promote the concept of educational-use-only software.

So, IMO the problem for some of the proposed licenses is not a lack of
OSI's approval, but a lack of interest.


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