Subject: Re: Proprietary but flexible licenses.
From: Crispin Cowan <>
Date: Mon, 07 May 2001 14:56:51 -0700

Adam Theo wrote:

> Crispin Cowan writes:
> > Note that SCSL is largely reviled in the free/open source communities.
> hm, understood. thanks again. i take it that the SCSL is definately *not* considered
Open Source, then, even if Sun *may* have tried to push it as, or just as good as, it?
not claiming they did, just trying to clarify, since as i understand it, there are a
couple of different definitions of what open source is floating around (
and the FSF, etc.).

Correct:  SCSL is definitely NOT an open source license.

> Dave Turner writes:
> >Why don't you ask instead on unfree-software-business?  You're not
> >really talking about any sort of freedom at all.
> my apologies. i wrote to this list because it had a very high level of professionalism
and no slander or degradation (high-quality members, in other words), and also had a
wide range of opinions and

To be fair, Dave is correct:  SCSL-like licenses are not free software in any way, and
thus are off-topic for the FSB list.  You get the benefit of asking advice from a concentrated
group of people who understand licensing issues.  We get the benefit of harrassing you
to use a real open source license :-)

> standpoints. i do understand that the list is named free-software-business. as far
as not having any sort of freedom at all, if you mean compared to BSD-style, no, you're
right. but i am not looking for traditional proprietary licenses that heavily constrict
the end user and third party developers. i am, however, looking for something that is
much more free than those, allowing end users a lot of power to view the source and
know exactly what they are getting, modify it, possibly even trying it out before paying
for it, and allowing third parties to build software that enhances or works off of this
program, if not allowing them power to re-distribute it.

That's exactly what SCSL does, and that's exactly why open source people don't like
it.  Again, to be fair. I'd take SCSL over a closed source license, but it is not open


Crispin Cowan, Ph.D.
Chief Scientist, WireX Communications, Inc.
Security Hardened Linux Distribution: