Subject: RE: OSD#5 needs a patch?
From: "Lawrence E. Rosen" <>
Date: Wed, 8 Oct 2003 19:09:42 -0700

 Wed, 8 Oct 2003 19:09:42 -0700

I'm sorry you think of the GPL as part of a political battle.  You've missed
the point entirely.  It is a method of promoting software freedom.

We're all working within the framework of the copyright law.  It provides
that owners of intellectual property have the exclusive right to do certain
things with it, including license it to others.  Every one of those licenses
contains terms and conditions.  None of us is against having terms and
conditions in a license that give licensees who accept the license more
rights than non-licensees who don't accept it -- even though that's
discriminatory.  Otherwise we'd simply say "take it, its yours" and go away.

The question is simply, what terms and conditions are acceptably

The GPL reciprocity provision serves to increase the total amount of
software that can be shared freely among the users of that license.  That is
a form of software freedom, although apparently not one shared by everyone
on this list, including sometimes me.  It is, however, one that is entirely
consistent with the OSD.  It seems that most of the people on this thread
are concerned not with a way of outlawing GPL-style reciprocity provisions
but a way of rewording the OSD to make it clear what we mean by
"discrimination."  It would be nice if you could help us achieve that rather
than find ways to object to the GPL's discriminatory provisions.  We'll
never change the OSD in such a way as to invalidate the GPL.

Nor will we disband OSI simply because an approval process itself is
potentially discriminatory.  That's foolish.  Instead, we'll do our best not
to allow discrimination in licenses.

Do you really think the first sentence of my proposal doesn't make sense?
Can you suggest a better way to express that concept?

/Larry Rosen

> -----Original Message-----
> From: David Presotto [] 
> Sent: Wednesday, October 08, 2003 6:04 PM
> To:;
> Subject: RE: OSD#5 needs a patch?
> > Proponents of open source software insist that software not be a 
> > battleground on which political or philosophical or 
> business wars are 
> > waged.
> To a certain extent, an inheritive clause or prohibition 
> against combination with one is a political battleground.  
> The GPL is indeed a soldier in a battle to 'free' captive software.
> In fact, having an approval process for open source licenses 
> is quite a strong political statement in of itself.  I really 
> don't see how such a clause can make sense.

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