Date: Sat, 22 Apr 2000 16:39:56 -0400
Organization: Kurtz-Fernhout Software
|Subject:||License Model: Preliminary Suggestion|
[Responding to Eric Armstrong's letter on April 21, 2000...] "Open Source" (TM) Licenses cannot discriminate among classes of users. The system outlined [...in Eric's letter would not be considered "open source" or "Open Source"(TM).
See specifically "The Open Source Definition":
Violating these guidelines would likely lose the participation of open source developers.
I have been participating in this colloquium on the basis of the promised "open source" nature of the eventual OHS/DKR. If a license was chosen as is described below, I would not be too happy about that.
One can make money from open source software if that is one's goal. You just can't do it by selling the right to use the source or resultant binaries of the core distribution. You can't live in both worlds with a core codebase. Sun is trying it with Java and failing compared to what Java could have been.
If Sun had delivered Java with an open source VM code base on day one, there would never have been this hord of over 100 slightly incompatible reimplimented JVMs all over the place -- making reliable Java code delivery to an arbitrary end user the nightmare it is today. That is why Java is considered by many to be dead on the browser for end users, and is now being used mainly in servlets. I use this as a cautionary tale -- pick the wrong license and much effort and good intentions may go for nothing and the wheel gets reinvented (badly) anyway.
Frankly, I don't think making money from selling stuff to support this effort should be a *primary* goal. If money is an issue, there are foundations and governments with billions of dollars spent annually on efforts less worthwhile then what is proposed here.
It would be better for individuals in my opinion interested in making money as part of this effort to either:
I think broadly put, the best license choices are:
Here are some other approved "Open Source" licenses I could probably live with:
some of which impose other restrictions, none with the commercial clause described below.