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[News] New Tricks for Dodging Open Source Licensing Values/Liabilities

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So How Open is your Open Source Company Anyway?

,----[ Quote ]
| Luke Kanies, the creator of Puppet, commented in his last entry about Open 
| Source business models, specifically the idea of an Open Core and what that 
| means. As an Open Source company do you have an open version of your product 
| that’s crippled?   


OpenCore/Split Licensing: You Can Do It Wrong

,----[ Quote ]
| It may be that you have a product which is so generic that you can't come up 
| with something that satisfies the Cookie requirement. If it is, you shouldn't  
| be trying Split Licensing at all. Not every business model suits every Open 
| Source project. Choose the right one.  


The Most Free(tm) Way to Make Money from Open Source

,----[ Quote ]
| His model of providing supported binaries, as Red Hat and others do, only 
| works for those who use compiled languages, which means it’s right out for 
| us.  Maybe we should stick some C in there, just to make it easier to charge 
| for support?   



Microsoft bad cop is up against the wall

,----[ Quote ]
| This time they are offering Windows-only code on their “open source” CodePlex
| site. It’s not that this is technically impossible. It’s just prohibited by
| license.
| [...]
| Last time they played this game they were pushing OOXML as an ISO standard.
| Before that they were promising to bury open source in patent suits.
| Now they’re trying to sneak semi-proprietary code on their own site.
| It’s like a crime boss getting arrested for pickpocketing. Lex Luthor gets a
| parking ticket, and pays it. Godzilla has become Reptar.
| So instead of taking deep umbrage, I’m just sad. You want a super villain to
| be, well, super. Not silly.


Microsoft taints open source CodePlex well

,----[ Quote ]
| Microsoft is posting code to its much-trumpeted CodePlex open-source projects
| site using licenses and conditions that go against the principles of open
| source.
| The company has been posting projects under Microsoft licenses that stop you
| from running CodePlex projects on non-Windows platforms or restrict access to
| code.


Microsoft's newest Halloween documents

,----[ Quote ]
|     * Microsoft is trying to look like it's all about interoperability
|     through futile projects like Mono, Moonlight, and patent agreements with
|     Novell and also-ran Linux vendors. But these deals are really nothing
|     more than a way to tax open-source innovation to ensure open source is
|     hobbled by Microsoft's fees.    
| And so on. Microsoft is much more open about its intentions vis-a-vis open
| source. That doesn't mean it's any more supportive of open source. It just
| means that it's getting easier to glean from public documents how the company
| feels about open source.  
| We don't need Halloween Documents to read the tea leaves on Microsoft and
| open source. We just need to pay attention to what the company is doing. In
| the open. On an increasing basis.  


Halloween XII: What’s really behind those Microsoft licenses?

,----[ Quote ]
| Given the OSI’s stated desire to reduce the number of open source licenses,
| not increase them, I asked the OSI board why they had approved it. “We won’t
| approve licenses that are too similar to existing licenses”, board member
| Russ Nelson responded in an email. However he praised the licenses for being
| simply written, for addressing trademarks and patents, and for not naming a
| specific jurisdiction.    
| Is that enough to differentiate them? Not according to Greg Stein of the
| Apache Foundation, who is opposed to the creation and use of new licenses
| when existing, popular licenses already do the job. “License proliferation,”
| he writes, “slows development and discourages usage by making it more
| difficult to combine and remix code.”    


Reverse-Halloween: The Marketing Checkbox Strategy

,----[ Quote ]
| Getting Microsoft software licenses OSI-approved and similarly getting
| Microsoft's proprietary document formats approved at ISO are like painting an
| old Chevrolet.  
| [...]
| This may be enough to satisfy the enterprise customer that he is achieving
| something different. Clearly, the substance is no different: it's a lock-in
| in sheep's clothing.  



OSI email group gets catty over Microsoft's Permissive License request

,----[ Quote ]
| Things got really interesting when Chris DiBona, longtime OSI member, open
| source advocate, and open source programs manager for Google, Inc. chimed in:
|     I would like to ask what might be perceived as a diversion and maybe even
|     a mean spirited one. Does this submission to the OSI mean that Microsoft
|     will:  
|     a) Stop using the market confusing term Shared Source
|     b) Not place these licenses and the other, clearly non-free , non-osd
|     licenses in the same place thus muddying the market further.
|     c) Continue its path of spreading misinformation about the nature of
|     open source software, especially that licensed under the GPL?
|     d) Stop threatening with patents and oem pricing manipulation schemes
|     to deter the use of open source software?
|     If not, why should the OSI approve of your efforts? That of a company who
|     has called those who use the licenses that OSI purports to defend a
|     communist or a cancer? Why should we see this seeking of approval as
|     anything but yet another attack in the guise of friendliness?    


Merging "Open Source" and "Free Software"

,----[ Quote ]
| Of course, they are not. Other Shared Source licenses may very well be too
| restrictive to be considered Open Source. But, Microsoft may conveniently
| divert the attention from this little detail to the fact that some of
| Shared Source licenses are Open Source.  


Microsoft not so 'open' after all?

,----[ Quote ]
| Head of open-source group says more than half of licenses don't pass muster
| [...]
| Michael Tiemann, president of the non-profit Open Source Initiative, said
| that provisions in three out of five of Microsoft's shared-source licenses  
| that restrict source code to running only on the Windows operating system
| would contravene a fundamental tenet of open-source licenses as laid out by
| the OSI. By those rules, code must be free for anyone to view, use, modify as
| they see fit.    
| [...]
| By his count, the OSI has rejected "two dozen" or so license applications for
| language that restricted the use or redistribution of software and its source
| code, even when the restrictions were written with what Tiemann
| called "moral" intent. For instance, the OSI has rejected license
| applications from Quakers and other pacifists who sought to prevent the use
| of software for weapons such as landmines.    
| "I am highly sympathetic to that point of view," he said. "But the OSI is not
| in the business of legislating moral use. We allow all use, commercial or
| non-commercial, mortal or medical."  


Is Microsoft Hijacking Open Source?

,----[ Quote ]
| What really worries me is what looks like an emerging pattern in Microsoft's
| behaviour. The EU agreement is perhaps the first fruit of this, but I predict
| it will not be the last. What is happening is that Microsoft is effectively
| being allowed to define the meaning of “open source” as it wishes, not as
| everyone else understands the term. For example, in the pledge quoted above,
| an open source project is “not commercially distributed by its
| participants” - and this is a distinction also made by Kroes and her FAQ.      
| In this context, the recent approval of two Microsoft licences as
| officially “open source” is only going to make things worse. Although I felt
| this was the right decision – to have ad hoc rules just because it's
| Microsoft would damage the open source process - I also believe it's going to
| prove a problem. After all, it means that Microsoft can rightfully point to
| its OSI-approved licences as proof that open source and Microsoft no longer
| stand in opposition to each other. This alone is likely to perplex people who
| thought they understood what open source meant.      
| [...]
| What we are seeing here are a series of major assaults on different but
| related fields – open source, open file formats and open standards. All are
| directed to one goal: the hijacking of the very concept of openness. If we
| are to stop this inner corrosion, we must point out whenever we see wilful
| misuse and lazy misunderstandings of the term, and we must strive to make the  
| real state of affairs quite clear. If we don't, then core concepts like “open
| source” will be massaged, kneaded and pummelled into uselessness.    

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