Subject: Re: Question on OSD #5
From: "Chris Travers" <chris.travers@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 14 Dec 2007 15:27:36 -0800
Fri, 14 Dec 2007 15:27:36 -0800
On Dec 14, 2007 2:06 PM, Lawrence Rosen <lrosen@rosenlaw.com> wrote:

> Ernie Prabhakar wrote:
> > Sounds like a good ticket. Matt, do you want to file it? :-)
>
> Every open source license already "allows private modifications." However
> some licenses, including OSL 3.0 and the new Affero GPL, require those
> private modifications to be treated as "distributions" under certain
> circumstances.


I have seen licenses which purport to require that anyone who modifies a
work send a patch back to the original developer.  If this is triggered on
any modification, then "private" modifications aren't so private anymore.
Neither the OSL nor the AGPL make such a requirement.  However the Cascade
Open Software License (or whatever it was that was brought up on the list a
couple weeks ago) purports to do this in a statement summarizing the license
even though it is not clear how the license aims to achieve that goal.

My own views are that forced distribution licenses such a the AGPL and the
OSL are problematic from a FOSS development perspective but I would not
quite go so far as to say they shouldn't be called "open source" (note that
no version of the AGPL appears in any list of OSI-approved licenses,
however).  I do think there are excellent reasons to avoid such licenses
however.  We should probably start a separate thread for that :-)



>
> Surely you don't want to prohibit those more aggressive
> reciprocal/copyleft
> licenses?
>

s/aggressive/coercive/    ;-)
No, I wouldn't go so far as to ban them.  I am content with speaking out as
to why they are problematic.  I would draw the line at any license which
requires private modifications to be distributed to the original
developers-- those should not be subject to OSI approval.

Best Wishes,
Chris Travers




On Dec 14, 2007 2:06 PM, Lawrence Rosen <lrosen@rosenlaw.com> wrote:
Ernie Prabhakar wrote:
> Sounds like a good ticket. Matt, do you want to file it? :-)

Every open source license already "allows private modifications." However
some licenses, including OSL 3.0 and the new Affero GPL, require those
private modifications to be treated as "distributions" under certain
circumstances.

I have seen licenses which purport to require that anyone who modifies a work send a patch back to the original developer.  If this is triggered on any modification, then "private" modifications aren't so private anymore.  Neither the OSL nor the AGPL make such a requirement.  However the Cascade Open Software License (or whatever it was that was brought up on the list a couple weeks ago) purports to do this in a statement summarizing the license even though it is not clear how the license aims to achieve that goal.

My own views are that forced distribution licenses such a the AGPL and the OSL are problematic from a FOSS development perspective but I would not quite go so far as to say they shouldn't be called "open source" (note that no version of the AGPL appears in any list of OSI-approved licenses, however).  I do think there are excellent reasons to avoid such licenses however.  We should probably start a separate thread for that :-)




Surely you don't want to prohibit those more aggressive reciprocal/copyleft
licenses?

s/aggressive/coercive/    ;-)
No, I wouldn't go so far as to ban them.  I am content with speaking out as to why they are problematic.  I would draw the line at any license which requires private modifications to be distributed to the original developers-- those should not be subject to OSI approval.
 
Best Wishes,
Chris Travers