Subject: Re: Can OSI specify that public domain is open source?
From: Chad Perrin <perrin@apotheon.com>
Date: Wed, 7 Sep 2011 15:28:15 -0600
Wed, 7 Sep 2011 15:28:15 -0600
On Wed, Sep 07, 2011 at 02:33:09PM -0700, Rick Moen wrote:
> Quoting Karl Fogel (kfogel@red-bean.com):
> 
> > In the current situation, OSI is supposed to either deny or not affirm
> > that (say) SQLite is open source.  That seems a worse result.
> 
> Again, point of order:  OSI has always been really clear that it doesn't
> certify any software as open source.  There really would be no practical
> way to do it, so OSI has never aspired or professed to do so.  It only
> certifies  licences , and is custodian of the formal definition of open
> source.  
> 
> If a software's surrounding circumstances as a whole result in that
> definition being met, then the software is open source.  For works whose
> copyright titles still exist and haven't totally expired (and weren't 
> non-existent ab initio, as with certain US Federal works), a software 
> licence is necessary but  not sufficient .  OSI certifies licences as
> granting the necessary rights  if  surrounding circumstance don't
> prevent their exercise.
> 
> So, the correct answer to 'Why doesn't OSI certify SQLite as open
> source?' is 'OSI doesn't certify  any  software as open source.'

I think perhaps what Karl intended to convey is disappointment in the
idea that the OSI doesn't certify the copyright status of SQLite as
compliant with the maning of "open source".

-- 
Chad Perrin [ original content licensed OWL: http://owl.apotheon.org ]


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