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Re: DFSG conform OSI licenses

On Mon, 2007-09-03 at 22:37 +0200, Francesco Poli wrote:
> On Mon, 03 Sep 2007 20:56:23 +0200 Soeren Sonnenburg wrote:
> [...]
> > Anyway I below quote both the OSI open source definition and DFSG and
> > as no one pointed me to any analysis on what could cause
> > incompatibilities I am now just commenting on the parts below. In
> > summary I think that the OSI's open source definition is in some
> > points even more strict than the DFSG (e.g. 10. does not exist in
> > debian) and thus I would expect most of the software coming under a
> > open source license to be DFSG OK too.
> [...]
> > Therefore I fail to see why *any* program
> > under satisfying OSI's 10 points on OSS is not DFSG conform and so I
> > would claim any of the 60 OSI-OSS licenses is OK. Now please prove me
> > wrong.
> The main differences between Debian and OSI do not lie in the letter of
> the DFSG and of the OSD.  The two sets of items are indeed similar.
> The main differences are in the ways the two sets of items are
> *interpreted* by the two organizations.
> The Debian Project explicitly states that the DFSG are *guidelines* and
> interprets them to decide whether a *package* is or is not Free
> Software.

Thanks a lot for pointing that out.

> OSI based its OSD on the DFSG, but treats it as a *definition*, that is
> to say, a set a *rules* whose letter, it seems, must be met, in order
> for a *license* to be *approved* (OSI-certified) as Open Source.
> However OSI has begun to interpret the OSD in such a relaxed way, that
> it seems almost any license even vaguely resembling something acceptable
> gets approved, sooner or later...

If I understand this correctly, it is just the different way of
interpreting these rules that make some of the OSI licenses conflict
with the DFSG. I really don't like that ... I still don't see how/where
the debian interpretation is more strict but I can nevertheless not
understand why there is no consensus as this is just not a desirable
situation if someone chooses to license a program as open source - which
will then still not make it into `open source distributions' such as
debian. So I would want to know which of the osi-open source licenses
are not DFSG OK.

> IMHO, the term "Open Source" has gradually become totally meaningless,
> because of this we-certify-everything attitude of OSI (and, ironically,
> because of the success that the very term gained: everyone now uses and
> abuses the term "Open Source" to mean anything, just since it's a trendy
> term...).

Actually OSI recognized that it is not at all a good idea to have these
60+ licenses lying around and they are trying to clean up:


Also they are may (will be?) enforcing that only osi-certified open
source licenses are allowed to be called open source:


So things may improve.

> Now, what is worse is that I fear the Debian Project is following OSI's
> steps down the same slippery slope.
> Debian has begun stretching the DFSG and accepting stuff that IMO should
> have never entered the main archive (GFDL-ed documents without
> unmodifiable parts, CC-by-v3.0- and CC-by-sa-v3.0- licensed works, to
> name but a few...).
> My concern is that, sooner or later, even "accepted in Debian main" will
> become meaningless (from a Freeness standpoint, I mean)...   :-(
> And that makes me sad.

Well I don't think it is that bad...
Sometimes, there's a moment as you're waking, when you become aware of
the real world around you, but you're still dreaming.

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