Subject: Re: For Approval: NASA Open Source Agreement Version 1.1
From: Russell McOrmond <>
Date: Sat, 14 Feb 2004 14:44:10 -0500 (EST)

On Fri, 13 Feb 2004, Richard Schilling wrote:

> I believe that is a misguided concept in open source licensing that 
> some hold to.  Tracking the use of a product does not make a license 
> non-open source.  Open Source licensing deals with accessibility and 
> cost, but tracking, per se, is not even relevant to that 
> characteristic.  In fact, tracking the uses of open source is a *key* 
> marketing tool and the only way we can judge if an investment of time 
> into open source is paying off, is it not?

  Are you deliberately trying to open a can-of-worms here, or do you 
really not understand the problem?

  Back in 1998 there was a claim that "Open Source" was intended to be a
marketing term for Free Software.  Since that time there have been many
attempts to make it into something extremely different such that it was no
longer a marketing term for the "freedom to run, copy, distribute, study,
change and improve the software".  In order for these to be freedoms it
should be obvious that these things be able to be done without additional
fee and for citizens to do so anonymously.

  Whether a critical feature of the Free/Libre and Open Source Software
movement runs contrary to the marketing goal of a specific organization is
largely irrelevant.  As soon as you track software is it no longer FLOSS,
and I would hate to see the OSI change the definition of Open Source to
the level that I could no longer trust its endorsement of any license.  
The value of the OSI to the community would effectively be gone at that

  Please don't push this can of worms into this conference any further
than it is already there.  The OSI has a very good definition to match
against licensing currently, and I would hope that the OSI would not erode
them to the level you suggest.  Your suggestions that the lawyers at NASA
would know better than OSI how to meet the goals of Open Source is
entirely backwards.

 Russell McOrmond, Internet Consultant: <> 
 Perspective of a digital copyright reformer on Sheila Copps, MP.
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