Subject: Re: Free World Licence.
From: "Ross N. Williams" <ross@rocksoft.com>
Date: Thu, 21 Oct 1999 14:53:29 +0930

At 3:10 PM +0200 20/10/99, J.H.M. Dassen (Ray) wrote:
>On Tue, Oct 19, 1999 at 10:44:21 +0930, Ross N. Williams wrote:
>> At 9:51 AM +0200 18/10/99, J.H.M. Dassen (Ray) wrote:
>> >I haven't studied your definition in detail, but it looks like a platform
>> >that uses the SCSL would match; are you sure that's what you want? (See
>> >e.g. http://perens.com/Articles/StarOffice.html).
>> 
>> The SCSL is big and complicated. Could you please summarize for me the
>> main negative aspects of this licence as you perceive them, so I can focus
>> on your concerns?
>
>I haven't studied the SCSL in detail myself, but the primary concern
>regarding the SCSL as I understand it is that it allows the licensor to pull
>the rug underneath everyone working on his SCSLed software at any time by
>taking it proprietary. Unlike e.g. free software the BSD license that's
>taken proprietary, the older versions do not remain free(ish).

OK. Thanks for that summary. Clearly that's completely unacceptable.

My free platform definition would not classify a platform as free if it
were under the SCSL because of:

   g. these freedoms are irreversible for the particular version of
      the Platform in question.

So, I'm pleased that I anticipated that problem in advance.

If anyone else has any idea of possible problems with my definition,
please let me know soon.

Ross.

Dr Ross N. Williams (ross@rocksoft.com), +61 8 8232-6262 (fax-6264).
Director, Rocksoft Pty Ltd, Adelaide, Australia: http://www.rocksoft.com/ 
Protect your files with Veracity data integrity: http://www.veracity.com/


1.1 FREE PLATFORM: A Free Platform is defined to be any Platform
whose software component satisfies the following conditions
technically, legally, and free of charge for all entities:
a. complete Executables can be downloaded from the internet;
b. complete Source Code can be downloaded from the internet;
c. the software may be used for any purpose;
d. the software may be modified, and modified versions used;
e. modifications and modified versions may be publicly shared
   under the same terms;
f. these freedoms apply to both Executables and Source Code;
g. these freedoms are irreversible for the particular version of
   the Platform in question.
The following is an informal categorization of some existing
Platforms. This categorization is subordinate to the definition
above:
Free     : GNU/Linux (often called just "Linux"), FreeBSD,
           NetBSD, OpenBSD, GNU/HURD.
Non-Free : MS-DOS, Windows95, Windows98, WindowsNT, Windows2000,
           MacOS, AIX, IRIX, Compaq Tru64, SunOS, Solaris,
           OpenVMS, HP/UX, BSD/OS.
See also PLATFORM.

1.8 PLATFORM: A collection of hardware, software and
interfaces that together constitute an execution
environment. For the purposes of this licence, the software
component of a Platform is defined to be the minimum set of
software required to support the execution of the Module (or
the derived work containing the Module). See also FREE
PLATFORM.