[Discuss] "Open" licenses

J. Simmons jrs at mach30.org
Thu Jul 3 19:42:32 UTC 2014

Ditto... +1 Catarina!!.  And +1000 for the poking an angry bear comment.
 Good luck on wrapping up your dissertation!!!


On Thu, Jul 3, 2014 at 3:38 PM, alicia <amgibb at gmail.com> wrote:

> +1 Catarina!!
> On Thu, Jul 3, 2014 at 1:35 PM, Catarina Mota <catarina at openmaterials.org>
> wrote:
>> Hi all,
>> Let me start with a disclaimer: I'm on the last weeks of phd dissertation
>> writing and probably much grumpier than usual. So, provoking a scholar of
>> open source at this stage is very similar to poking a very angry bear :)
>> Having said that, here's why I don't understand all this confusion and
>> discussion about wether NC licenses are open source or not.
>> We all use words to communicate and what allows us to do that is that
>> those words have a meaning we all understand. When I say "resistor" you all
>> know what I'm referring to and that a resistor is not, for example, a
>> capacitor. Well, 16 years ago a group of free software advocates got
>> together in a strategy session in Palo Alto and coined the term "open
>> source" - see this history article <http://opensource.org/history> for
>> details. Since words and expressions need meanings they then wrote a
>> definition of what "open source" means <http://opensource.org/osd>.
>> According to this definition - the meaning of the label "open source" -
>> goods distributed with an NC clause cannot be called open source. So that's
>> pretty simple: "open source" is what it was defined to mean, no more no
>> less.
>> Now, words and expressions evolve with use, of course, and often take on
>> new meanings. But in this case - since the originators of the term
>> specifically said that to be open source a license cannot discriminate
>> against fields of endeavor (and specifically mention business) - I think it
>> would be extremely unfair to use their term to mean the opposite of they
>> wanted. While everyone is free to define the terms under which they want to
>> distribute a good, it really isn't right to co-opt a term that means so
>> much to so many people. Just as I'd be really upset if someone used my name
>> to refer to, for example, beating a dog - or something else I strongly
>> disapprove of.
>> There isn't a lack of words in most languages - so why not just create a
>> new term or use something that actually means what they are doing? The
>> group who coined the term "open source" went to great lengths to define its
>> meaning in very specific terms - so why all this questioning of what open
>> source means?
>> I do understand however that the question people are discussing on this
>> thread refers to "open hardware" not "open source hardware," which makes
>> matters more complicated, but I just wanted to get the "open source" part
>> out of the way :)
>> On Thu, Jul 3, 2014 at 2:06 PM, Jeffrey Warren <jeff at publiclab.org>
>> wrote:
>>> Definitely not open hardware. These things (right to sell, right to use
>>> regardless of application) are specifically protected!
>>> They're also part of the four freedoms of free software. Maybe we need a
>>> similarly easy to remember list to reference.
>>> On Jul 3, 2014 8:07 PM, "Matt Maier" <blueback09 at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>> If they don't even mention any of the established "open source"
>>>> licenses it's a safe bet their license isn't actually open.
>>>> Just from a quick scan this one obviously violates a couple principles.
>>>> It doesn't allow you to sell anything, which is a point of contention
>>>> anyway. But the worst thing (in my mind) is that it restricts fields of
>>>> endeavor and associated technology. You're only allowed to use the
>>>> "reference material" to do work that is based on their product and benefits
>>>> their technology. You can't use it for whatever you're interested in.
>>>> Basically they're allowing you to do some of their user testing and R&D
>>>> for them, but without being able to benefit from the work yourself (sell
>>>> something or use it in your own projects).
>>>> I would call this license "not open." The few things they do allow
>>>> don't make up for the things they don't allow.
>>>> Cheers,
>>>> Matt
>>>> On Thu, Jul 3, 2014 at 5:27 AM, Michael McCormack <
>>>> mike at themccormacks.com> wrote:
>>>>> Is there anyone who routinely reviews licenses to say "yes" or "no" to
>>>>> open?  I was looking at license associated the ST NUCLEO boards:
>>>>> http://www.st.com/st-web-ui/static/active/en/resource/legal/legal_agreement/license_agreement/open_platform_license_agreement_v3.pdf
>>>>> and off the top of my head, I'd say it is pretty much not what most
>>>>> people consider the term open to mean as it limits my use to only their
>>>>> products.  I realize that they may not have any legal grounds to limit my
>>>>> use, as hardware is subject to patents and not copyrights and without a
>>>>> patent on their boards they probably have nothing to license.  But my
>>>>> question is more general though prompted ST non-open-license - is there
>>>>> someplace that weighs in on whether a someone's new license is open or not?
>>>>> --
>>>>> Cheers
>>>>> Mike
>>>>> Michael McCormack
>>>>> mike at themccormacks.com
>>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>>> discuss mailing list
>>>>> discuss at lists.oshwa.org
>>>>> http://lists.oshwa.org/listinfo/discuss
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J. Simmons, President
Mach 30: Foundation for Space Development
<https://www.facebook.com/Mach30>  <http://twitter.com/mach_30>

*~ ad astra per civitatem ~*to the stars through community
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