Advertising Clauses in Licenses

Ian Lance Taylor ian at
Tue Feb 12 05:11:03 UTC 2002

David Johnson <david at> writes:

> > People should be able to understand the OSD. Sigh. This all turned out to
> > be a lot more complicated than we were thinking back in 1997.
> By and large, I think most people DO understand the OSD. Where we have 
> problems is understanding the cryptic legalese some of these licenses are 
> written in.

After reading this list for a few years, I don't think most people
understand the OSD at all.  I think most people have a gut feeling
about what software is open source and what is not, and they go from
there.  Unfortunately, not everybody has the same gut feeling.

Otherwise there would not be so much disagreement about which licenses
are open source or not.  The KDE license battles were really
disagreements about what qualified as open source (or free software);
the legalese was merely where the battles took place.

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