Date: Wed, 21 Feb 2001 10:49:18 -0500
Mr. Rod Welch
The Welch Company
440 Davis Court #1602
San Francisco, CA 94111 2496
[Responding to your letter on February 20, 2001..... ]
On another point, one which you can bring up on line: in any open source effort, the owner of the copyright to the IP that is the product has the right to do proprietary things with that product. That is because the owner of the IP has the right to construct OSS licenses any way he/she chooses. One for *them*, and another for *us*. The downside to such licensing practices is that the OSS community tends not to participate in double-licensed projects. The primary thought that I inject into the OHS open source licensing is this: any entity that chooses to use OHS as a substrate for a proprietary product gives up the right to block any other entity from implementing the same or similar functionality. No blockades may be setup to impede the evolution of OHS in any direction it may want/need to go.
This means, indeed, that purely proprietary products may "plug" into OHS and use it as a substrate, but they may not sue anyone else for doing the same product, open or otherwise. That means, any patents will necessarily need to be assigned to the public, or at least, to the OHS development environment.
Now, don't get crazy here. I will not work on any project that is not, at least, available to open source. I do not mind working on proprietary IP, but will only do so with the understanding that I'm clear to do the same thing in the open community -- which implies that I'm not much of an asset to proprietary projects. So be it.