Re: Open Source licensing, Take 2

From: Edward Cherlin <cherlin_at_pacbell_dot_net>
Date: Tue May 10 2005 - 12:24:28 CDT

On Monday 09 May 2005 14:47, Alan Dechert wrote:
> On 5/9/05, Marty Schrader <> wrote:
> > Doesn't that conflict with OVC Bylaws Article II Section
> > 2.9, about the tech that the OVC plans to hold on to?
> Good question (and a tough one too), Marty. The FAQ is
> out-of-date. This is one of many things that needs serious
> work. However, we don't yet have a complete answer for this
> either.
> We probably will not use "extended GPL" for the production
> software. It will be "Public Software," which has a definition
> TBD. For several reasons, none of the open source licenses
> fits voting software very well.

It is preferable to use an existing license, which has been
hammered on by lawyers and geeks, for the same reason that Open
Source software is to be preferred.

> For example, provisions about
> how modifications are done are different for voting software
> since and modified software has to go through certification.

That is no argument against the GPL, as far as I can see. Our
license should permit any modification whatsoever. Separately we
will need to make it clear that conforming to the license
doesn't mean that modified software can be used in an election
unless it is completely tested.

There are other kinds of software subject to government testing
that are still distributed under GPL. I worked for a company
that put out an 'avionics-grade' Linux, certified for use in
airplanes, surgical robots (when we get to that point), and
other life-and-death critical applications. Nobody knowledgeable
in those industries would have supposed that they could legally
twiddle the certified software and use it without retesting.

> Alan D.

Edward Cherlin
Generalist & activist--Linux, languages, literacy and more
"A knot! Oh, do let me help to undo it!"
--Alice in Wonderland
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Received on Tue May 31 23:17:30 2005

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