Re: OSD && DFSG convergence
On Sun, Jan 26, 2003 at 12:55:05PM -0500, Russell Nelson wrote:
> Hi. I'm the vice-president of the Open Source Initiative, and I'm
> writing to you today in that stead.
N.B. I am CCing you since you do not have a Mail-Followup-To:
that says otherwise. If you are reading this list, please tell me so I
won't pollute your Inbox.
> We want to explore convergence between the Open Source Definition, and
> the Debian Free Software Guidelines. OSI is interested in mending
> differences in our community, so that we can stand together.
> Is there anything in the OSD which would prevent the Debian project
> from adopting it whole cloth? Is there anything the Debian project
> would like to see changed in the OSD before it could adopt the OSD?
To facilitate discussion, there are only two major differences
that I can see.
The OSD appends the following text:
Where some form of a product is not distributed with source code, there
must be a well-publicized means of obtaining the source code for no more
than a reasonable reproduction costpreferably, downloading via the
Internet without charge. The source code must be the preferred form in
which a programmer would modify the program. Deliberately obfuscated
source code is not allowed. Intermediate forms such as the output of a
preprocessor or translator are not allowed.
The OSD removes the grandfathering clause and substitutes:
No provision of the license may be predicated on any individual
technology or style of interface.
> Regardless of the merits of this proposal, I see two problems with the
> current DFSG. One is that software must comply with the DFSG to be a
> part of Debian, and yet the DFSG does not admit the possibility of
> public-domain unlicensed software. Then again, neither does the OSD,
> because we're only applying it to licenses. Another problem is that
Public domain software that is unlicensed does not have the
protection of copyright law. Therefore, it is likely to meet all the
DFSG criteria. Public domain software that is embedded within other
licensed software may or may not meet DFSG criteria. Nevertheless, the
DFSG can be applied.
> the DFSG does not prohibit a license from requiring a specific form of
> affirmative assent known as click-wrap. Our recently-passed change to
> the OSD fixes that problem.
I fail to see how a useful software license could be DFSG-free
and have a detrimental click-wrap license. Perhaps you could provide an