Subject: Re: Open-sourcing business operations code?
From: kmself@ix.netcom.com
Date: Mon, 30 Oct 2000 14:21:34 -0800
Mon, 30 Oct 2000 14:21:34 -0800
on Mon, Oct 30, 2000 at 03:04:28PM -0700, Chris Rasch (crasch@openknowledge.org) wrote:
> Hi,
> 
> 
> kmself@ix.netcom.com wrote:
> 
> > Essentially, staging the transition allows a company to test the waters.
> > The evaluation should involve customer responsiveness, code viability,
> > community response, and internal issues (aka politics).  There's the
> > option to test interest and viability in the process without opening up
> > IP irrevocably off the bat.  Going whole-hog GPL is seen by many as an
> > all-or-nothing commitment.  Gradualism is often easier to contemplate
> > and/or champion.
> 
> Agreed, and the schedule of opening up you describe seems reasonable to
> me.  However, I think that if it is internally politically feasible, it
> is better to choose a completely open license from the start.

Part of the process may involve identifying what is a feasible,
palatable, or desirable license.  I'm less concerned with specific
target than that a scope of probable targets are identified.  Not a
critical issue.

> > I'd argue this slightly differently.
> >
> >   - GPL is an idiological license.  Its intent is to propagate the

Note:  s/idiological/ideological/, as has been pointed out to me.

> >     idiology of free software.  There are a number of (IMO) strongly
> >     positive benefits arising from this, several of which are
> >     demonstrated with considerable substantiality.  Similar arguments
> >     for LGPL.
> 
> I agree one of the GPL's principal purposes is to propagate an
> ideology.  I also think that there are good business reasons for
> choosing it over a BSD  style license,   the principal one being that it
> prevents the prisoner's dilemma  (Do I cooperate and contribute my code,
> or do I defect and roll it into a closed source competing product?) by
> preventing defection altogether.

Yes.

> > I see dual licensing as a promising method of pursuing multiple goals,
> > while retaining licensing compatibility.  The specific combinations of
> > MozPL and GPL/LGPL [1], and BSD/GPL, in particular, may prove
> > interesting to contemplate.
> 
> I'm also curious to see how dual licensing will turn out.  The principal
> difficulty I see is keeping copyright ownership straight, and the added
> complexity of dealing with two licenses instead of one.

I think the licensing space is sufficiently well defined that there are
a small number of primary variants.  What I find is that the significant
differences appear to be in the limitations of liability sections --
usually a mix of what and how.  Dualing (for values of 2 >= 2) with one
or more of the common licenses may allow for a bit of individual
expression in terms of crafting a custom license -- and this might even
be a good way to bring fresh blood into the licensing arena without
creating incompatibilities.  

One of my concerns about the "no new licenses at any cost" school is
that it makes the licensing space completely static.  Though I strongly
discourage license proliferation, static state is a bad thing as well.
The problem of how to allow for evolution while retaining compatibility
is one I've been rolling through for a while.

-- 
Karsten M. Self <kmself@ix.netcom.com>     http://www.netcom.com/~kmself
 Evangelist, Opensales, Inc.                    http://www.opensales.org
  What part of "Gestalt" don't you understand?      There is no K5 cabal
   http://gestalt-system.sourceforge.net/        http://www.kuro5hin.org


["application/pgp-signature" not shown]