[License-review] Approval request for ZENTAO PUBLIC LICENSE

Carlo Piana carlo at piana.eu
Thu Jun 23 13:29:15 UTC 2016

To clarify things better, my views are not necessarily those of OSI, of
which I am not an affiliate [0].

This is a public discussion list, where anybody who has something worth
to say, can speak up. It's a public discussion where, like in any
scientific fora, the ideas of the people are as valuable as they are
well grounded in the accepted principles. This is why licenses are put
to test before *the Board* decides. The tougher the scrutiny, the more
reliable the evaluation.

I have myself submitted to this process and miserably failed. I have
ever since participated to the discussion trying to bring my small
bucket of water. Others have tried and succeeded. Others have also
failed. Everybody, though, accepted to withstand being stressed by
everybody who felt to have a say.

Just a final remark. In the field, "Open source" is a term of the trade.
Not written in any law (heaven forbid!) but generally recognised as
residing within the Open Source Definition. I don't often use that term
myself, but when I use it, I use only for OSD-compliant licensed
software. If one uses the term for non-compliant licenses, she does a
disservice to open source and her customers, and I submit is not
operating on fair trade terms.

Again, my view, which is worth what it is worth.

All the best,


[0] Nor do they represent the views of other relevant subject to which I
*am* affiliated

On 23/06/2016 15:08, Fei Teng wrote:
> Thanks for sharing your point of view.
> ZPL has been applied in three of our products and approved by hundreds
> of thousands users of ours. It has made our team to be able to keep
> updating our software and other developers to benefit from our open
> source software.
> With the spirit of sharing and respect to OSI, we submitted our
> request for approval. But apparently, there is a huge divergence
> between you who has dozens of years experience dealing with open
> source and us. It might seems to you that what we are doing is not
> open source, which is OK to us, because we are more practical and
> value our users' approval.
> Thank you all for your time and advice.
> On Thursday, June 23, 2016, Carlo Piana <osi-review at piana.eu
> <javascript:_e(%7B%7D,'cvml','osi-review at piana.eu');>> wrote:
>     Open source spirit and open source law are the same.
>     The spirit lies in licenses that abide by the principles. If we
>     relaxed the principles, the spirit would go. Nothing is absolute,
>     and a rule of reason can be applied. But there are limits, like
>     field-of-endeavour limitations, which is a no-no. A piece of
>     software whose source code cannot be used in certain fields or in
>     certain combinations, is not open enough. It's not a bad thing,
>     but it's not open source and cannot receive approval.
>     Therefore, to obtain the badge of being open source, the license
>     shall adapt to the rules, not the rules to the license, for
>     practical reasons. Had we (collectively) acted for practical
>     reasons some 20 or 25 (alas, actually more than 30!) years ago,
>     open source would not exist now. Most of people who knew what was
>     workable taught us that open source was a garage developers' toy,
>     if not a cancer.
>     My opinion. Others might feel different.
>     All the best
>     Carlo
>     On 23/06/2016 08:45, Fei Teng wrote:
>>     As time goes by, everything is changing and changed. Different
>>     situation requires different license. Changes might happen to
>>     badgeware license in the future.
>>     In China, a lot of developers who love open source eventually
>>     stopped updating their software because of other developers'
>>     violation of the common rules and disrespect the open source
>>     spirit.  If this keeps happening, it is harmful to the whip open
>>     source community.  
>>     Is it to follow all the old rules which is detrimental to open
>>     source spirit more important? Or to take actions to protect open
>>     source spirit more important?
>>     On Wednesday, June 22, 2016, Josh berkus <josh at postgresql.org> wrote:
>>         On 06/20/2016 08:29 PM, Fei Teng wrote:
>>         > 3. A lot of end users removed the badge of our product
>>         > 4. A lot of developers who develop based on our product
>>         removed the
>>         > badge of our product and they do NOT share their code with us
>>         I thought we weren't approving any badgeware licenses?  If
>>         that's the
>>         case, why are we still talking to Fei Teng?
>>         --Josh Berkus
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