Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 7th Nov 2017 11:50 UTC
OSNews, Generic OSes

Andrew S. Tanenbaum, creator of MINIX, has published an open letter to Intel regarding Intel's use of MINIX in the IME:

The only thing that would have been nice is that after the project had been finished and the chip deployed, that someone from Intel would have told me, just as a courtesy, that MINIX 3 was now probably the most widely used operating system in the world on x86 computers. That certainly wasn't required in any way, but I think it would have been polite to give me a heads up, that's all.

If nothing else, this bit of news reaffirms my view that the Berkeley license provides the maximum amount of freedom to potential users. If they want to publicize what they have done, fine. By all means, do so. If there are good reasons not to release the modified code, that's fine with me, too.

I can still barely believe this whole story.

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RE[4]: freedom
by ssokolow on Thu 9th Nov 2017 02:25 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: freedom"
ssokolow
Member since:
2010-01-21

I think you're misunderstanding the terms and are actually trying to draw a distinction between "permissive" and "copyleft" licenses.

(Permissive being BSD-like and copyleft being GPL-like)

If you actually look at their defining documents, there's not really much concrete difference between "Free Software" and "Open Source" aside from how one might try to language-lawyer their definitions.

The Free Software Definition doesn't require copyleft (in fact, they explicitly say that they consider non-copylefted free software to be ethical too.), nor do the Open Source Definition or the Debian Free Software Guidelines. (the DFSG being the third big document people turn to.)


All explicitly allow permissive licensing and the most noteworthy characteristics are:

1. The Free Software Definition uses the fewest bullet points, thanks to its "four freedoms" formulation.

2. The Open Souce Definition put the most effort into being apolitical, at the cost of more bullet points and a little more wiggle room to lawyer the letter of the definition for lack of as srong an underlying philosophy.

3. The Debian Free Software Guidelines communicate roughly the same thing as the Free Software Definition, but aim to be more explicit about things that the Free Software Definition trusted legal precedent on.

(And they paired it with a bunch of thought experiments to help answer questions about whether something is compliant. See "Q: How can I tell if a license is a free software license, by Debian's standards?" in the DFSG FAQ.)

Compare for yourself:

https://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html.en
https://opensource.org/docs/osd
https://www.debian.org/social_contract#guidelines
https://people.debian.org/~bap/dfsg-faq.html

Edited 2017-11-09 02:29 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 4