Subject: Re: Franklin Street Statement and Free Network Services
From: "Dave Crossland" <dave@lab6.com>
Date: Sat, 30 Aug 2008 22:53:40 +0100

2008/8/30 Evan Prodromou <evan@prodromou.name>:
>
> ...and on the Open Software Service Definition:
>
> http://www.opendefinition.org/ossd

> > The Definition
> >
> > An open software service is one:
> >
> > 1. Whose data is open as defined by the open knowledge
> > definition (http://opendefinition.org/1.0/) with the exception
> > that where the data is personal in nature the data
> > need only be made available to the user (i.e. the owner
> > of that account).
> >
> > 2. Whose source code is:
> > A. Free/Open Source Software (that is available under a
> >     license in the OSI or FSF approved list

This should be boolean AND instead of OR because the FSF and OSI lists
diverge slightly; there are some OSI licenses - Artistic License 1.0,
NASA Open Source Agreement 1.3, Reciprocal Public License - that the
FSF state are non-free.

http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/license-list.html#NonFreeSoftwareLicense
http://www.opensource.org/licenses/alphabetical

> > B. Made publicly available."

This should be "Made available to its users."

Requiring publication is highly contentious.

In the early "Emacs commune" days RMS decided it was unethical to
force people to publish their changes, which is why the GPL doesn't
(no link, I cuss printed books, I believe I read this in 'Free For
All' or 'Rebel Code'). The eCos Public License that does what RMS once
did, and the Reciprocal Public License that requires publication, is
criticised at http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/license-list.html#NonFreeSoftwareLicense

More recently, debian-legal have the desert island/dissident tests [1]
that, while not as important as the FSF FSD and OSI OSD, are still
worth thinking about and should not be disregarded lightly.

And most recently, the Affero GPLv3 says that the _users_ of network
software must be able to access it via the network - which I think is
striking the correct balance, although some d-l folks like MJ Ray
don't like it.

[1]: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Debian_Free_Software_Guidelines#debian-legal_tests_for_DFSG_compliance

My suggestion:

An open software service is one:

1. Whose data is open as defined by the open knowledge definition
(http://opendefinition.org/1.0/) with the exception that where the
data is personal in nature the data need only be made available to the
user (i.e. the owner of that account).
2. Whose source code is Free/Open Source as defined by both the FSF
and OSI (that is available under a license in the OSI and the FSF
approved lists) and is available to the users of the service.

-- 
Regards,
Dave

"Nothing would please me more than being able to hire ten programmers
and deluge the hobby market with good software."
- Bill Gates, 1976, in want of www.gnuherds.org