Re: Source licensing

From: Arthur Keller <arthur_at_kellers_dot_org>
Date: Sun May 09 2004 - 18:47:41 CDT

At 6:52 PM -0400 5/9/04, David Mertz wrote:
>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
>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.

How about, closed proprietary source, published proprietary source,
and free software?

>>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.

You mention a variety of "free" software. Which "free" software
model should be used for the licensing/ownership of UC-developed

>>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.

There were two purposes of my message, and I didn't make clear the
distinction. The UC-developed software will be "free," and the
nature of the license will be written into the proposal so that UC
can't change it's mind. The question is which "free" licensing
regime should UC use for this software?

Second, I wanted to make the distinction between VoteHere's approach
to published software, and the OVC's approach (cases 2 and 3 above).
Is such a distinction worthwhile? Thanks.

Best regards,

Arthur M. Keller, Ph.D., 3881 Corina Way, Palo Alto, CA  94303-4507
tel +1(650)424-0202, fax +1(650)424-0424
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Received on Mon May 31 23:17:28 2004

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