Subject: Re: new licensing model
From: Chuck Swiger <chuck@codefab.com>
Date: Sun, 18 Dec 2005 13:04:44 -0500

Nikolai wrote:
> Philippe, is it possible to read English text of the legal draft (new
> French law on copyrigtht) you have mentioned?
> 
> “Yes, but changes to the OSD are always minor ... We may stray a little
> from time to time, but the purpose is not to create new "licensing
> models" or propose changes to the OSD. More importantly, the changes you
> have proposed will never be made. If a license demands royalties for
> distribution or sale, it is not and never will be open source” (Matthew
> Flaschen).
> 
> Sounds like someone holds a monopoly on what open source is.  If so, who
> is monopolist?

The OSI board is identified at: http://www.opensource.org/docs/board.php

However, the notion of a monopoly is where a subset of the population controls a
(presumed finite) resource; the term doesn't really apply to a case where
everybody is guaranteed access and the resource in question, namely software,
does not get depleted when shared more broadly.

The core principle behind OSI Open Source means the software is available to
everyone, free of charge, to modify and redistribute to others.  If I can't
redistribute freely (or resell for whatever price I want to charge without owing
anyone else a royalty), the software isn't OSI Open Source.

[ ...lots of stuff deleted... ]
> - business people pay once for the right to use the copy of the work for
> making money (there is no royalty (as a percentage of the revenue from
> the sale) for business people in my licence) and it might generate good
> profit (furthermore new works will keep on coming that supports market
> and social choice);
> - society becomes rich of a) knowledge without stagnation of
> development, b) equivalent relationships, c) taxes, at least.
> 
> What is the reason to be against this?

Don't misunderstand, lots of people (on this list and elsewhere) do some form of
commercial software development to earn a living.  But that model of commercial
development, which forbids free redistribution, is not open source.

Some people feel that open source provides a better model for developing good
software than what you've described, which is a fairly common model used by the
more open commercial software vendors and is sometimes called "source-available
commercial software".

Certainly that is better (IMHO, anyway) than completely closed commercial
software which comes without any source code access at all.  If you believe your
model will result in better software over time than the open source model, by
all means, go ahead and find out how it does in practice.

-- 
-Chuck