[Linux-aus] Who defines Open Source?

Martin Pool mbp at sourcefrog.net
Wed Feb 8 12:42:04 UTC 2006

On  8 Feb 2006, Del <del at babel.com.au> wrote:

> 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.

The FSF say 


  The simplest way to make a program free is to put it in the public
  domain (18k characters), uncopyrighted.

In their terms it is free software but not copyleft (not
share-and-share-alike/viral/call it what you will). 

> 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 ...

The issue is not so much the lack of a body, but the lack of agreement
on precisely what the guidelines should be.  The FSF is quite capable of
saying whether something is DFSG-free or vice versa - they just have
different premises.

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