Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 18th Aug 2007 20:13 UTC
GNU, GPL, Open Source The OSI License-Discuss mailing list has been ablaze for the past few days since Microsoft submitted its Permissive License to the OSI for official open source license approval. Jon Rosenberg, source program director for Microsoft, posted, "Microsoft believes that this license provides unique value to the open source community by delivering simplicity, brevity, and permissive terms combined with intellectual property protection."
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To be honest...
by monodeldiablo on Sat 18th Aug 2007 20:56 UTC
monodeldiablo
Member since:
2005-07-06

As much as I hate to say it, I have to agree that DiBona's points are valid. None of what Hilf said impressed upon me that Microsoft was pursuing this as anything other than a marketing campaign. Attacking DiBona and Google certainly didn't help matters much, either, especially given Microsoft's track record regarding open source.

It's a tough pickle, because the OSI is screwed either way. If they agree to review and approve the MSPL, Microsoft will feature it on its website alongside restrictive licenses and try to render them "open" by association, confusing your average CIO and getting a free ride on the back of a community they've constantly antagonized. Misleading (or helping to mislead) the public about open source and license legitimacy seems contrary to the goals of the OSI.

On the other hand, if the OSI turns MS away without even considering the license, they threaten to undermine their credibility and objectivity.

It will be interesting to watch this unfold.

Reply Score: 18

RE: To be honest...
by makc on Sat 18th Aug 2007 21:11 in reply to "To be honest..."
makc Member since:
2006-01-11

To me it sounds more like "This is my ball and I decide who can play" ;)

Reply Parent Score: 7

v RE[2]: To be honest...
by TBPrince on Sat 18th Aug 2007 21:20 in reply to "RE: To be honest..."
RE[2]: To be honest...
by ma_d on Sat 18th Aug 2007 21:49 in reply to "RE: To be honest..."
ma_d Member since:
2005-06-29

Yes, that's the OSI's job actually. But thanks for mocking it.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE: To be honest...
by Valhalla on Sat 18th Aug 2007 21:42 in reply to "To be honest..."
Valhalla Member since:
2006-01-24

the bottom line is that this is 'just another licence'. whatever Microsoft's agenda may be, it's up to the developers to use it or not. as long as the licence follows the criteria's set by the OSI for approval submission then I see no problem.

developers have been perfectly capable to decide between open source licences sofar, I doubt that will suddenly change should Microsoft's licence be approved. some people seem to think that developers just google up 'licence' when they're ready to distribute their code and choose whatever pops up first. you really don't licence your hard work on a whim.

Reply Parent Score: 7

RE[2]: To be honest...
by Almafeta on Sat 18th Aug 2007 21:47 in reply to "RE: To be honest..."
Almafeta Member since:
2007-02-22

some people seem to think that developers just google up 'licence' when they're ready to distribute their code and choose whatever pops up first. you really don't licence your hard work on a whim.


... actually, when we were discussing licensing on our project, my boss really did do that -- according to him, Google told him that the GPL v3 was the 'best' license.

People just choosing whatever license they've heard good things about without taking the time to read and consider the license is probably much more common than should be.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: To be honest...
by segedunum on Sat 18th Aug 2007 23:45 in reply to "RE: To be honest..."
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

the bottom line is that this is 'just another licence'. whatever Microsoft's agenda may be, it's up to the developers to use it or not. as long as the licence follows the criteria's set by the OSI for approval submission then I see no problem.

Well, for a start, the OSI were going to cut down on the shear number of licenses being submitted to the OSI by various companies, not just Microsoft, just to muddy the waters and get code flowing in their direction.

The OSI should be telling Microsoft that there are a great many licenses that already exist that are OSI approved, and they should just use one of them.

Microsoft has done nothing to help the OSI, or be supportive of their efforts in the past, so I fail to see why Microsoft should expect a free ride.

Edited 2007-08-18 23:47

Reply Parent Score: 9

RE[2]: To be honest...
by l3v1 on Sun 19th Aug 2007 11:41 in reply to "RE: To be honest..."
l3v1 Member since:
2005-07-06

the bottom line is that this is 'just another licence'. whatever Microsoft's agenda may be, it's up to the developers to use it or not


Not quite, things are seldom so easy and transparent. The problem - as I see it - is mostly that MS already talks about being open source, and providing open source tools and apps, and whatnot, seemingly being deliberate in not differentiating between what licenses they use and what licenses are generally used in FOSS development. The reason for that is probably a PR and marketing one, that is trying to mix and blur the meaning open source among the MS customer base.

It doesn't seem to be much, but if you take it as a defensive move, it's not such a bad idea really.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: To be honest...
by ma_d on Sat 18th Aug 2007 21:48 in reply to "To be honest..."
ma_d Member since:
2005-06-29

I really don't see an objective issue with refusing to listen to an almost (I'm being nice) criminal company from the perspective of OSS.

Chris is trying to choose the only winning move: "Not to play." Microsoft is playing games and I believe OSI is small enough, young enough, and run by smart enough people to breaks its own rules and not play this hand.

Objectivity and unbiased opinions are for people who can't learn and abstract, not to mention impossible goals.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: To be honest...
by tyrione on Sun 19th Aug 2007 04:21 in reply to "RE: To be honest..."
tyrione Member since:
2005-11-21

Convicted of being a Monopoly is an admission the company is criminal.

However, they did have the biggest balls for over a decade by dangling their giant nutsack in the face of the public and getting away with it.

Reply Parent Score: -1

RE[2]: To be honest...
by BluenoseJake on Sun 19th Aug 2007 18:30 in reply to "RE: To be honest..."
BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

"I really don't see an objective issue with refusing to listen to an almost (I'm being nice) criminal company from the perspective of OSS."

You're not being nice, you're being discriminatory. IF MS follows the process and the rules, their past behavior is somewhat irrelevant. OSI's job is to verify and certify Open Source licenses. They just can't reject it out of hand, that shows they are not objective, and it undermines efforts to get everyone, including MS to play by the rules. Getting MS to play fair with OSS is a goal I can get behind. That way everyone wins.

"Objectivity and unbiased opinions are for people who can't learn and abstract, not to mention impossible goals."

That's pretty closed minded, and a bit retarded as well. For an organization like OSI, they have to be definition of objectivity, or they are useless. These issues are not abstract, they affect the way thousands of people and organizations do business everyday.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[2]: To be honest...
by Moochman on Sun 19th Aug 2007 20:55 in reply to "RE: To be honest..."
Moochman Member since:
2005-07-06

Objectivity and unbiased opinions are for people who can't learn and abstract, not to mention impossible goals.

By that logic, people who are able to learn should always form biased opinions. Except that the definition of "biased" means being unable to learn to see things in new ways as new situations present themselves.

Sorry, I just don't buy your twisted argument. Microsoft's past behavior should not be the basis of refusing to review their license request. As other people have noted, just letting them create an open-source license does not immediately mean that thousands of developers are going to flock to it. Now I'm not saying they should approve this license or not, as I myself have not reviewed, it but I am saying that it should at least be looked at carefully before being rejected.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: To be honest...
by MollyC on Sat 18th Aug 2007 22:13 in reply to "To be honest..."
MollyC Member since:
2006-07-04

If OSI were to reject the MS licenses for political reasons, then they would reveal themselves as a political organization and lose all credibility. If they reject the licenses they better have sound reason for it. From reading the OSI discussion list for both MS-PL and MS-CL, it looks like both are on the way to being approved.

And there was no "attack" on DiBona or Google. DiBona decided to inject politics into the debate, so he left himself open to likewise response. Regarding Google's use of open source licenses, one issue (I don't know if this is what Hilf was referring to) has to do the fact that Google uses tons of GPL in its products, releases those products to the public for use, but doesn't release their own code because the proucts are web apps rather than local binaries, which one could argue goes against the spirit (if not the letter) of GPL.

Edited 2007-08-18 22:15

Reply Parent Score: 10

RE[2]: To be honest...
by Snifflez on Sun 19th Aug 2007 06:01 in reply to "RE: To be honest..."
Snifflez Member since:
2005-11-15

"If they reject the licenses they better have sound reason for it."

Oh, you mean, like, a bunch of already existing OSI-approved licenses with the same features that can be used by Microsoft's license? Funny how Microsoft insists on having their own little license, don't you think? Almost, like, they're trying to be... oh, I don't know... political when it comes to licensing issues.

"DiBona decided to inject politics into the debate..."

What "politics", Molly? What politics has to do with the facts that to this day Microsoft continues to spread misinformation about the nature of open source software, especially that licensed under the GPL (an OSI-certified license, by the way), even as they seek OSI's approval of their license?

This is a company well-known for its opposition to all things open source, and now all of a sudden they want to be approved by the very entity they've spent years badmouthing. Interesting.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[2]: To be honest...
by Lettherebemorelight on Mon 20th Aug 2007 08:52 in reply to "RE: To be honest..."
Lettherebemorelight Member since:
2005-07-11

If OSI were to reject the MS licenses for political reasons, then they would reveal themselves as a political organization and lose all credibility.

Before you go crucifying the OSI for something you don't even know happened, I have to remind you that microsoft is a software company turned political organization (see link).

http://www.osnews.com/permalink.php?news_id=18098&comment_id=248910

Why the double standard MollyC?

Reply Parent Score: 2