Subject: RE: License Proliferation
From: "David Dillard" <david_dillard@symantec.com>
Date: Tue, 6 Sep 2005 16:52:54 -0400

 Tue, 6 Sep 2005 16:52:54 -0400
When people talk about "free software" that's the definition they're
using - whether you feel it's foolish or not.

You might find this useful:
http://www.fsf.org/licensing/essays/free-sw.html


--- David

 

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Matthew Seth Flaschen [mailto:superm40@comcast.net] 
> Sent: Tuesday, September 06, 2005 4:47 PM
> To: Chris Zumbrunn; David Ryan
> Cc: Ben Tilly; Russell Nelson; license-discuss@opensource.org
> Subject: Re: License Proliferation
> 
> Only software in the public domain has no restrictions.  All 
> licenses do.  Therefore, your definition of "free" is foolish.
> 
> -Matt Flaschen
> 
> 
> > First, just to save bandwidth and avoid responding with similar 
> > wording to several message:
> > 
> > When I used the term "free" I meant the orwellian freedom...
> > 
> > "free" == "Freedom as defined by RMS" == copy-left
> > 
> > I thought on this mailing list this would not create confusion. 
> > Obviously I was wrong.
> > 
> > When I used the term "open" I meant "Freedom as defined by 
> the rest of 
> > us; you know, the absence of restrictions on activity", as 
> Russell put 
> > it.
> > 
> > On Sep 5, 2005, at 9:43 AM, David Ryan wrote:
> > 
> > > This discussion I believe started because of discussions 
> of whether 
> > > a license should be approved based on its compatibility 
> with other 
> > > licenses.  You will never be able to place code from any strong 
> > > copy-left license into BSD software. I think compatibility with 
> > > other licenses in its class would be helpful and encouraged.  
> > > However, some ideals may never allow compatibility.
> > 
> > Sublicense != Relicense
> > 
> > Only the copyright holder can relicense code under a 
> different license. 
> > If you include code that you received under a BSD license in your 
> > larger work that you license to me under a proprietary 
> license, then 
> > the code you included is strictly speaking sublicensed by you to me 
> > and is still BSD. You can only sublicense, not relicense. I 
> could take 
> > that code and do with it whatever the BSD allows. The fact that you 
> > most likely will not be providing me with the source code, 
> since it is 
> > part of your proprietary larger work, is just a technicality.
> > 
> > Basically, what I was arguing is that the OSD could be 
> amended with a 
> > clause that prohibits licenses to dictate the license of 
> larger works.
> > 
> > > There seems to be two camps growing on the list.  The 
> Darwinian camp 
> > > who believe that aslong as a license is conformant then 
> let it out 
> > > in the wild and fend for itself.  If it is successful then more 
> > > people will use it, may even improve it. If the license is not 
> > > succesful it will be limp off into a corner of the 
> internet and die.
> > 
> > Yes, but even the Darwinists need to ask themselves what 
> exactly the 
> > licenses need to conform to. The OSD, of course, but that 
> can be seen 
> > as a moving target.
> > 
> > > The other camp believe that the OSI have a strong duty to 
> uphold a 
> > > higher standard and make it easier for businesses and 
> individuals to 
> > > understand open source licenses.  This should be achieved 
> by raising 
> > > the bar of what needs to be achieved to get a license approved.
> > 
> > I believe even the Darwinists can agree with this, depending on 
> > exactly how the bar is raised. After all, they seem to have 
> agreed to 
> > put it where it is now.
> > 
> > > My preference is the Darwinian one.  The biggest deciding factor 
> > > behind this is that as a developer I believe it is my choice to 
> > > decide how I will release my software.  Making my software open 
> > > source is one of a number of options.  I can choose to 
> keep it on my 
> > > PC and not share it at all,  I can choose to create a commercial 
> > > business and sell the software as closed source, or I can 
> choose to 
> > > make my software available with source code.  If I make 
> it available 
> > > with source code, there are plenty of both OSI approved and 
> > > non-approved licenses to choose from.  In the end it is 
> my choice.  
> > > [...]
> > 
> > Exactly, just because you pick a license that is not OSI approved, 
> > does not mean it is not open source. It might just never have been 
> > submitted for approval or/and it might disagree with the OSD 
> > definition of open source. So far the OSI has tried to prevent the 
> > latter from happening by keeping the OSD synonymously with "open 
> > source". In fact, that seems to have been a major goal of 
> OSI so far.
> > 
> > > One of the common arguments for the other camp is that 
> companies are 
> > > going to throw their hands up and say enough.  Please, 
> let them do it.
> > >  The solution will likely be that only a select number of 
> licenses 
> > > will be chosen by them.   If my software license doesn't 
> conform then 
> > > I need to choose if I want to change it to meet their select 
> > > license, or just as possible, decide I don't mind that they won't 
> > > accept the software.  Each business are also likely to have 
> > > different requirements for their license approval.  I 
> think the OSI 
> > > performing that function is premature and unlikely to 
> meet everyones goals.
> > 
> > True, but another argument by "the other camp" is that easing code 
> > reuse should be a goal of the OSI and that this is the true 
> motivator 
> > for license tiering and non-proliferation efforts. I'm 
> saying, if that 
> > shall be true then the OSI needs to amend the OSD 
> accordingly and move 
> > the GPL to the second tier of licenses that no longer meet 
> the new OSD.
> > 
> > Chris
> >   
> > 
>