[Linux-aus] Re: Squiz.net Open Source License - is it free?
mbp at sourcefrog.net
Mon Feb 6 09:42:10 UTC 2006
On 5 Feb 2006, Del <del at babel.com.au> wrote:
> Andrew Donnellan wrote:
> >Another analysis with more explanation.
> >I have asked FSF and their response was clearly non-free.
> That response may or may not be more useful than the discussion
> on the debian-legal list, however I don't find that discussion
> useful. The arbitrators of open source licenses are the OSI,
> not the Debian team nor the FSF.
The OSI have no de jure authority to decide what is open source or not.
They simply have an *opinion*, as does the FSF, Debian, Microsoft, or
anyone else. It is up to the reader to decide whose
judgement/ethics/reputation they trust.
We could have a discussion about their past performance and which is
most reliable or otherwise preferable, but that's a different question.
Personally I give the FSF's assessment a great deal of weight.
It seems OSI are no longer claiming a trademark on the phrase "open
source". OSI do have the exclusive legal right to decide whether or not
something is "OSI Certified open source" (tm). I could start labelling
things "mbp certified open source(tm)" if I wanted. There's nothing
wrong with arrogating authority -- open source works that way all the
time -- but let's be clear that's all they are.
> Remember that the debian-legal team only discuss one distribution of
> Linux, and the FSF only promote one (GPL) of the many free software
This is not really true. The FSF primarily recommends the GNU GPL, but
they recommend others for particular circumstances. In any case I don't
see why that reduces their credibility to evaluate other licences.
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