[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: Is OSL 2.0 compliant with DFSG?

On Sunday 11 April 2004 19.49, Walter Landry wrote:
> > I thought this was no different than from the GPL, it is just more
> > clearly stated here in the OSL. But perhaps I am wrong?
> I use Google.  If Google used OSL licensed code, then they would have
> to make the source available.  That is not the case with GPL'd works.

Oh... one learns something new every day. I clearly sympathise with OSL 
here, if someone deploys my software, the source code should be made 
available. So it makes me favour OSL even more.

I don't like allowing "work-arounds", so one can deploy software without 
sharing the source. The classical work-around is putting all free 
software in a library and escaping the responsibilities that way, but 
even GPL disallows that. Tunneling the user interface through a web 
server is to me just a variation on the theme.

> > However, now to the important point here, since GPL and OSL gives
> > the user more rights than she/he would have if the license is not
> > accepted, click-wrap is only a theoretical problem.
> This is not true.  The OSL goes beyond the domain of copyright, and
> that is perhaps why they require a click-wrap.  For example, if I
> lawfully acquire a copy of GPL licensed code, I can use it to my
> heart's content without worrying about the GPL.  It is only when I
> want to make copies that I need concern myself with the GPL.  The
> OSL, in contrast, wants to put some burdens on usage.

Ah, I see the difference now. There is indeed some elegance in having a 
license cleanly relating to copyright. If it is true that this makes a 
difference requiring click-wrap or not, it is a clear advantage. No-one 
likes click-wrap procedures.

> > And a comment on #10, the patent action clause. I think DFSG should
> > be changed if necessary to allow these kind of clauses. The clause
> > does not discriminate anyone, it is just a small protection against
> > the largest threat against free software there is -- software
> > patents. Nearly all commercial licenses have these type of clauses.
> If you want a patent protection clause, use something like the IBM
> CPL.  It revokes _patent_ licenses, not copyright licenses. 

Such clauses is only useful for patent owners (that is companies) that 
sells patent licenses. To me, and probaby the majority of free 
software, such a clause is meaningless since I have not filed any 

> > And to a final question, if I change the license to OSL for my
> > software, can it then no longer be distributed with Debian?
> The final decision rests with the ftp-masters, but I don't think that
> Debian will distribute it.

Hmm, ok. Although I sympathise with the extra limitations put into place 
with OSL, I'm not religious about it, so I'll continue to keep my 
software under the GPL for now.

/Anders Torger

Reply to: