On May 6, 2004, at 3:20 PM, [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
Chuck Swiger scripsit:

The list of OSI-approved licenses includes near-duplicates such as the
BSD license versus the SleepyCat license or the "University of
Illinois/NCSA Open Source License", for one thing.

A tricky example, actually, since the Sleepycat license is reciprocal:
you have to provide freely redistributable source to your applications
that use Berkeley DB, unless you buy a commercial license from Sleepycat.
It's much more like the GPL, though without the "derivatives under GPL
only" provision.

You're right.

I suppose I should have said, the Sleepycat license consists of a 3-clause BSD license (copyrighted to the Regents of CA), a 3-clause BSD license (to Harvard), and a 2-clause BSD-license (to Sleepycat itself), plus the 3rd reciprocal clause which you describe above. :-)

Others who have suggested that the list of approved licenses is going
to continue to grow are very likely right, but is that a problem?

I see two problems:

1) Developer confusion. With lots of licenses, it's hard to juggle the rules
in your head, and especially to know if you can create joint derivatives of
software under license A with software under license B.

Agreed. The OSD would be more useful if one implication of being "OSI Open Source" meant approved licenses played nice with each other, but even that doesn't seem to be a point that everyone can agree with!

2) Partition of the commons. The GPL creates a commons of software:
programs that make use of GPL software have to stay within the commons.
The OSL does the same, but incompatibly with the GPL (in the opinion of the
people promulgating the GPL, at any rate).

So the FSF people say, yes. Well, the OSL is hardly unique in that sense...

You can't mix'n'match GPL and OSL components. The non-reciprocal licenses don't cause a problem in this case, since they cross all boundaries.

...as one cannot mix'n'match GPL-licensed software with most of the OSD-approved licenses.

Well, to the extent that the current situation reflects what people using the GPL actually want (or what Larry Rosen wants :-), we're all going to have to live with it. I'd imagine the FSF objects to OSL clause #10 and maybe #11?

If so, efforts to create license templates with a range of choices
which result in OSI Open Source-compatible terms, such as the Creative
Commons licenses, seem to be a good idea.  A similar effort could be
made to coalesce BSD-like licenses, GPL-derived licenses, and perhaps
others (the MPL?).

Alas, you run up against Not Invented Here.

Goodness, yes. Well, problems "Not Invented Here" are still problems that here has to face.


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