Re: License for EVM?

From: David Mertz <voting-project_at_gnosis_dot_cx>
Date: Fri Aug 15 2003 - 11:48:50 CDT

Doug Jones wrote:
|But note, none of the above approaches to the source solve the
|problem of assuring that sound configuration management is used.
|Therefore, all of these put us in a position where derived
|works done out from under our control are potentially a threat
|to democracy if they're used for voting.

I'm afraid that some of Doug's post conflates unrelated issues, almost
in the way that "reports" (disinformation) purchased from Gartner often
do about open source.

Providing explicit license terms for code has nothing at all to do with
configuration managment. I quite agree that the latter is an important
question, but it's not the licensing question.

I also think there's something disturbing about equating works that are
not under "our" control with a threat to democracy. But perhaps if
"our" is read so extremely broadly as to include "all us careful folks
concerned with democracy" it's OK. There's no reason that democracy
cannot be promoted in South Africa, or India, or even just outside of
the UC system. But clearly *somebody* has to vouch for any given
installation (and provide a clear explanation and audit trail for how
that installation was verified).

Let me try repeating the CONCRETE and SPECIFIC threat we need to
address: I, David Mertz, one of the developers, could decide on the day
of the demo that I do not want to let EVM2003 use my copyrighted
code.[*] Who knows why I would do such a thing--maybe I got a bribe;
maybe I'm just an asshole; maybe I decide I only trust UMass academics,
not UC; whatever. To address this threat, the only possible answer is
to explicitly agree to license terms that allow the code to be used,
regardless of my wishes on that day.

Yours, David...

[*] In real life, that's not going to happen... but how do you KNOW
that? And if for me, how about for some other contributor?
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Received on Sun Aug 31 23:17:09 2003

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