Subject: Re: Forced distribution licenses (AGPL/OSL/etc): Why not.
From: Ernest Prabhakar <>
Date: Sun, 16 Dec 2007 07:16:39 -0800

Hi Chris,

On Dec 14, 2007, at 10:32 PM, Chris Travers wrote:
> I want to go ahead and share one FOSS developer's perspective on why  
> I think that licenses which force distribution to users (such as the  
> AGPL and OSL) are detrimental to development.  I am a full-time FOSS  
> developer who makes my money doing both private and public  
> modifications of code.  While I don't think that the OSI should  
> disqualify such licenses categorically, I think that they do  
> seriously undermine community development.
> My general feeling is that the labels of "Free Software" and "Open  
> Source" both miss the mark and that what we should really be  
> focusing on (because it leads to both openness and freedom) is  
> community-centric development.  Control over a project by a single  
> vendor (MySQL, Trolltech, Digium) is to be shunned while software  
> which is not dominated by a single commercial entity (Apache,  
> PostgreSQL, Linux, FreeBSD)  is preferred.  All such solutions are  
> by definition Free, or Open Source, but not all of the latter  
> solutions are developed in a community-centric way.

That is a reasonable perspective, but "community-centric development"  
is a _one_ aspect of Open Source, not the whole of what _we_ are  

Also, please remember that our focus as a list is now on compiling  
useful information for a FAQ.  I'm not sure how this email fits into  
that context; could you perhaps rephrase it along those lines?  For  
example, "When might a business want to avoid using a copyleft license"?

-- Ernie P.