Subject: Re: FS a subset of OS?
From: Russell Nelson <>
Date: Tue, 21 Dec 2004 22:22:14 -0500

Brian C writes:
 > Cryptix General License, eCos license version 2.0, and the Expat
 > License, and probably others) one hypothesis I have is that such
 > licenses were simply never submitted for OSI approval,


 > But generally, does it sound right that if a license satisfied FSF's
 > free software definition it would almost certainly receive OSI approval
 > as an open source license?

It's likely, but not a given.

 > For instance, the complaints about APSL 1.2 were that it had 1)
 > Disrespect for privacy 2) Central control and 3) Possibility of
 > revocation at any time. Now I can see how guaranteeing the four freedoms
 > could be inconsistent with such license terms, but those three things
 > aren't immediately obvious no-nos if you just read the four freedoms,

They're still not obvious no-nos.  For example, any license is subject
to revocation.  Let's say that a copyright holder wrote you a demand
letter saying "I don't think you are abiding by the GPL.  You must
stop redistributing my software."  Your only recourse at that point
would be to sue them.  I have no idea what your grounds for doing so
might be, but that's what you would have to do.

.... and so on.  All of the terms in the APSL 1.2 were defensible
vis-a-vis the FSF's own four freedoms.  That privacy thing I think
Stallman pulled from his butt, though.  It sure wasn't a requirement
before the APSL was published.

 > Can you think of a situation where the FSF would consider a license to
 > satisfy the free software definition but OSI would not consider that
 > license to satisfy the open source definition?

Yes, simply because it has gone the other way as well.  We might pull
some requirement from our butts as well, that RMS didn't prohibit.

--My blog is at  | Freedom means allowing
Crynwr sells support for free software  | PGPok | people to do things the
521 Pleasant Valley Rd. | +1 315-323-1241 cell  | majority thinks are
Potsdam, NY 13676-3213  | +1 212-202-2318 VOIP  | stupid, e.g. take drugs.