[Linux-aus] Who defines Open Source?

Del del at babel.com.au
Wed Feb 8 11:44:01 UTC 2006

> A perception which is really strongly supported by using commonly accepted
> licenses. There are *plenty* of licenses that support all kinds of models,
> why take the dangerous route of choosing a brand new, legally untested one
> even if it has your name on top? :-)

Mmm.  I spend a lot of time scratching my beard because (a) I can't decide
what open source license to use and sometimes it appears that none of them
really do what I want it to do, or (b) because my beard is itchy.

The general solution to (a) is that I often use the GPL (which I find too
restrictive at times), often use the LGPL, and often use some other license
like the no-attribution BSD, or I put pieces of more than one FOSS license
together.  Sometimes I release code as "no license, public domain", which
is also useful in itself, however it doesn't pass the FSF tests and I'm not
sure if it even counts as open source or not.

However it does show that having plenty of licenses isn't always a better
solution, nor is having just one all-encompassing open source license.  Sometimes
what you want to achieve can only be had by making a new license, or giving
your beard a good hard scratch.

Generally, having the "Open Source Guidelines" is a good idea but I wish
there was some kind of active international body that approved licenses
against these guidelines in a timely manner.  I also wish my cats had
fewer fleas, that might solve the beard problem.  However, both are just
wishes, and if wishes were horses ...


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