Subject: Re: BitTorrent
From: Brian C <brianwc@ocf.berkeley.edu>
Date: Fri, 21 Apr 2006 14:38:18 -0700

Lawrence Rosen wrote:
> Who has the most incentive to make sure that the term "Open Source" has
> consistent meaning in Wikipedia? And that licenses that claim to be open
> source actually are? At least we have OSI and license-discuss colleagues to
> help us out.

BitTorrent calls the license it wrote (based on the Jabber license) the
"BitTorrent Open Source License" (see it at
http://bittorrent.com/license.myt ). The folks at BitTorrent have never
submitted it to OSI for approval, but because the modifications they
made to the Jabber license (which is approved) are so minute, IF it ever
were submitted by its stewards, then I would bet it would be approved.

But if you don't want people to include the phrase "Open Source" in the
name of their license unless it is in fact OSI-approved, then OSI could
simply ask BitTorrent to submit their license for formal approval to
resolve that (or OSI could step back from its current policy of
requiring steward-submission and simply opine on its status without
being formally asked).

Maybe it makes sense in the case of software licenses to worry about the
usage of the phrase "open source" but in dozens of other usages the
toothpaste is already out of the tube and there's not going to be any
stopping people from talking about "open source politics" or "open
source biology" or what-have-you.

Brian Carver