Subject: Re: OSD#5 needs a patch?
From: Rick Moen <>
Date: Thu, 9 Oct 2003 00:13:58 -0700

Quoting Bruce Dodson (

> Okay, I guess I see that.
> I didn't see it as entirely a case of moral positioning.  In the
> example that I created, if I were a member of <ethnic group>, I would
> feel like I were not as welcome to use the software as others are.

That may be true, but people's emotional state is (in my view) simply
out of scope for the OSD.  The OSD describes conditions sufficient for
software to be open source.  The copyright holder needn't smile upon you
or send you birthday greetings.  He's perfectly free to hate your guts
and tell you so, in fact.  With the OSD-described provisions, I enjoy
the right to fork and develop the software separately.  Without them, I
don't.  This other stuff you speak of is the booby prize.

OSD-compliant software from someone that hates my guts is open source.
Non-OSD-compliant software from an ardent admirer is proprietary.

If you want to encourage software that gives you the warm fuzzies, feel
free to establish the Nice Software Initiative.

> Moreover, depending on what exactly was said, I might also find it
> repulsive to propagate the message by redistributing the program,
> whether I am a member of <ethnic group> or not.

Sounds like a personal problem.

> Thus it seemed to me that, when a licensor tries to discourage a
> person or group from using the software, it shouldn't matter whether
> they are trying to accomplish that through legal force or through
> insults and intimidation.

You're right, that it doesn't matter.  But not in the way you intended.

> However, I realize that argument must seem a little fuzzy, and perhaps
> a little too idealistic as well, for all of you lawyers :-).

I wouldn't say fuzzy and idealistic.  I'd just say "missing the point".

Cheers,                                      "My file system's got no nodes!"
Rick Moen                                    "How does it shell?"  
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