a proposed change to the OSD

James E. Harrell, Jr. jharrell at copernicusllc.com
Sat Oct 26 15:36:18 UTC 2002

Russ & Open Source friends,

I'm fairly new to this group, though immensly interested from a perspective
of how Open Source and for-profit corporations can work together- so please
grant me a *little* bit of leeway. I've tried to stay out of the discussion,
as I am in no way an expert in this field. Though the last comment pushed me
over the edge into the world of participation.

I just tried to visit the website to see if BitKeeper's license is already
approved- but the site isn't there. It's part of my argument, so I'll go out
a limb and assume it is OSD approved. If not, you can safely ignore part of
email, though it's only half of the argument. :)

I would think it bad faith to change the definition based on a pending
in order to be able to specifically exclude this license. This may not be
case- but from the (very) outside- that's what it looks like. Also, I would
think it counter productive to change the definition when an existing
already has such a clause- you'd either have to revoke approval on the
license (again bad faith), or you're in a very difficult situation when
suggest new licenses based on that one. After all- an approved license
an un-approvable clause; so there's a valid case for a precident argument.

Russ writes:
>Yes, BitKeeper's public license.  But there's also a pending license
>(Sybase) which requires that users indicate their assent to the
>license through click-wrap or equivalent.  *Users*.

It looks like the Sybase license might be on an approval track; that maybe
meets the current OSD definition. But someone doesn't like a particular
in the license- and without a rule that specifically prohibits said clause,
no justification to deny the license.... so change the rule and the license
be denied?

I don't see significant harm in users indicating consent via click-wrap. As
matter of fact, my lawyers insist on it when I write commercial software.
such an "action" (which according to our lawyers makes the license slightly
enforcable) will not encourage commercial entities to participate in Open

I would hope that the OpenSource.org community would actually encourage
entities to find a way to participate. That's where I am now- trying to
figure out
how to make payroll (including my own salary) for a commercial project that
is Open
Source. But it didn't work for Eazel...

Maybe I'm in the wrong place? If click-wrap is specifically excluded, then
product and desired license also won't meet the OSD. So maybe it will just
have to
be open source (with a lower case "O" and "S")?

Please don't take my remarks as intending to be inflamatory- I'm not trying
push the Gospel of Gates on your group. :) I'm just trying to figure out if
is a way for Commercial and Open Source to co-exist; or better yet live

James E. Harrell, Jr., CEO
Copernicus Business Systems, LLC

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