Re: Source licensing

From: David Mertz <voting-project_at_gnosis_dot_cx>
Date: Sun May 09 2004 - 17:52:43 CDT

On May 9, 2004, at 5:33 PM, Arthur Keller wrote:
> There are at least 3 primary models: closed proprietary source,
> published and publicly available proprietary source, and open source.

Wrong language. If the source is published, it is generally "open
source" under both the ordinary meaning of the words, and according to
the Open Source Initiative's trademarked (but lapsed trademark) "Open
Source" label.

The third option is "Free Software." The FSF has good documentation on
the meaning of that term. Certainly they push GPL/LGPL/Open Document
License, but public domain, X11, or BSD qualify too.

> With open source, there are a variety of models, from GPL to no
> restrictions on reuse. There is also tracking changes *and
> rationales.* (CVS can track changes, but does it adequately record
> the rationale for the changes?)

The rationale's in CVS are exactly as good as the developers with
check-in decide to make them. But it's hard to see how you'd really
get much work done with an continual audit of check-in rationales. I
dunno, maybe it could be someone's job to do code audits to keep change
records better. So yeah, I guess that merits study.

> So let's talk through what licensing should be used, specifically for
> the reference software developed under the University of California
> contract.

I find it deeply offensive--though obviously I know it's not factually
unusual--for my tax dollars to fund development of unfree software.
I'm not a CA resident, and don't pay state taxes there. But I suppose
a little bit of my check to the IRS goes to HAVA, which might go to UC,
so even I am chipping in.

But to me, a commitment to democracy entails a commitment to government
not spending money to subsidize private/proprietary owners in detriment
to the public good.
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Received on Mon May 31 23:17:28 2004

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