Re: "Scope" of licenses to be covered by SPDX


Jilayne Lovejoy <jilayne.lovejoy@...>
 

In so far as Phil and Michael's previous comment regarding the SPDX License List – it is correct to say that we have endeavored to include the most common open source licenses (not freeware, shareware, various abominations of the above, proprietary, or what have you) as stated in the license list description at the top of the page found here: http://spdx.org/wiki/spdx-license-list The goal is not to try to capture every license you might find, as that would be impossible, but the most commonly found.  There are currently 168 licenses on the SPDX License List.  We have been discussing coordinating with a few of the community groups to add licenses they may have, that SPDX doesn't (e.g. Gentoo, Fedora, Debian), but haven't had enough people-power to get this task completed (yet).  

When I responded earlier, I did not mention this as I could not remember accurately if we discussed the idea of adding other "free" (but not necessary source-code-is-provided licenses).   In any case, it's certainly something we could discuss, but I think there are some good reasons not to expand too far (which I will raise if and when we have that discussion, instead of rattling on unnecessarily here)  That being said, there are probably other licenses that are not "open source" per se, but commonly found and lumped into that broader category (the Sun/Oracle license come to mind) that perhaps should be added.  

In any case, anyone can suggest adding a license via this process:  http://spdx.org/wiki/spdx-license-list-process-requesting-new-licenses-be-added  We are largely "under-staffed" and "under-paid," so I would encourage anyone who wants to see the list expanded to get involved.

In regards to Michel's definition of "FOSS" for the purposes of contract negotiations and standardizing clauses – I don't have so much a problem with this name, per se.  I understand the reaction; "FOSS" has ideological underpinnings and is not thought of to include the second and third categories, so this is a bit uncomfortable.  But, I guess when looking at it through my attorney glasses, which is the lens for which these clauses are intended, I can compartmentalize and apply the definition as however it is presented for that particular contract.  That is, after all, how contract definitions work.  I have certainly seen contract terms and definitions come across my desk, where I've thought, "well, that's not what I would have called that," but so long as I understand what that word means in the context of that agreement, it really doesn't matter if it's called "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious."  Just my two cents.

Jilayne

Jilayne Lovejoy |  Corporate Counsel
OpenLogic, Inc.
jlovejoy@...   720 240 4545

From: <RUFFIN>, "MICHEL (MICHEL)" <michel.ruffin@...>
Date: Friday, June 22, 2012 12:57 PM
To: "mike.milinkovich@..." <mike.milinkovich@...>, Soeren Rabenstein <Soeren_Rabenstein@...>, "mjherzog@..." <mjherzog@...>, SPDX-general <spdx@...>
Subject: RE: "Scope" of licenses to be covered by SPDX

Ok now we have an understanding, any suggestion ?

 

Michel.Ruffin@..., PhD
Software Coordination Manager, Bell Labs, Corporate CTO Dpt
Distinguished Member of Technical Staff

Tel +33 (0) 6 75 25 21 94
Alcatel-Lucent International, Centre de Villarceaux

Route De Villejust, 91620 Nozay, France


De : Mike Milinkovich [mailto:mike.milinkovich@...]
Envoyé : vendredi 22 juin 2012 20:43
À : RUFFIN, MICHEL (MICHEL); Soeren_Rabenstein@...; mjherzog@...; spdx@...
Objet : RE: "Scope" of licenses to be covered by SPDX

 

Re: "“Free and Open source Software” it is “Free and/or Open source software”; "

 

I understand that. Which is why I said it is the union, rather than the intersection.

 

In my highly simplified view, the FSF defines what free software is, and the OSI defines what open source software is. If you're going to include a bunch of other stuff that does not meet either of those definitions, then please (pretty please!) do not refer to your definition as FOSS or FLOSS. Find some other name, because that one's taken.

 

 

From: RUFFIN, MICHEL (MICHEL) [mailto:michel.ruffin@...]
Sent: June-22-12 1:55 PM
To: mike.milinkovich@...; Soeren_Rabenstein@...; mjherzog@...; spdx@...
Subject: RE: "Scope" of licenses to be covered by SPDX

 

We do not discuss or put into question the FSF and OSI definitions of FOSS (I know them by heart, I understand the philosophy behind them and respect them). We try to make a definition of what should be the scope of software subject to the clause that we put in the contracts and it is broader than  open source traditional definition.  So perhaps the term “FOSS” is chocking you for that. But this is why we need to discuss and standardize. For me FOSS is not “Free and Open source Software” it is “Free and/or Open source software”; Now should we select another term in this context? I am totally open minded on this. Call it NPS (non-purchased software) or whatever, but even this wording will not fit with shareware for instance.

 

Michel

Michel.Ruffin@..., PhD
Software Coordination Manager, Bell Labs, Corporate CTO Dpt
Distinguished Member of Technical Staff

Tel +33 (0) 6 75 25 21 94
Alcatel-Lucent International, Centre de Villarceaux

Route De Villejust, 91620 Nozay, France


De : Mike Milinkovich [mailto:mike.milinkovich@...]
Envoyé : vendredi 22 juin 2012 19:25
À : Soeren_Rabenstein@...; RUFFIN, MICHEL (MICHEL); mjherzog@...; spdx@...
Objet : RE: "Scope" of licenses to be covered by SPDX

 

Re: " Out of this topic we just discussed (in my understanding) what could be a proper definition of “FOSS”."

 

The Free Software Foundation (FSF) and the Open Source Initiative (OSI) are the two organizations which, in my opinion, define what FOSS is. Any attempt to define FOSS which do not take into account the collective wisdom and process that went into their respective license lists [1][2] would be a big mistake.

 

FOSS = Free and Open Source Software, which is the union of software which meets the definition of Free Software[3] and Open Source Software[4].

 

I have seen attempts in the past to expand the definition of FOSS beyond licensing to include other parameters such as open development processes and the like. They've all been spectacularly unsuccessful. There be dragons.

 

In the interest of full disclosure, in addition to by day job at the Eclipse Foundation, I am also a Director of the OSI.

 

[1] http://www.gnu.org/licenses/license-list.html#SoftwareLicenses

[2] http://opensource.org/licenses/alphabetical

[3] http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html

[4] http://opensource.org/docs/osd

 

 

Mike Milinkovich

Executive Director

Eclipse Foundation, Inc.

Office: +1.613.224.9461 x228

Mobile: +1.613.220.3223

mike.milinkovich@...

blog: http://dev.eclipse.org/blogs/mike/

twitter: @mmilinkov

 

 

 

Out of this topic we just discussed (in my understanding) what could be a proper definition of “FOSS”.

 

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