Open is Open.
Posted Nov 10, 2005 4:31 UTC (Thu) by cventers
In reply to: Open is Open.
Parent article: Debian and Nexenta collide
Thank you for being fair about addressing my points. I really don't want
to write as if LWN is my platform to flame you or Sun but I feel as if my
concerns are legitimate, and I suspect many feel the same.
I think we can agree that the wording in the CDDL is questionable and
possibly open to interpretation (more so than either of us would like).
The remaining difference then, it seems, is that you trust Sun whereas
I'm not completely inclined to. Why couldn't Sun have chosen to
explicitly, and in plain english, license all of its patents to any
CDDL-licensed product derived from the original? Why would it care to
keep these patents locked up?
It's not anything to do with MAD, because Sun demonstrated (to my glee)
with OpenDocument that there are other approaches, by licensing their
relevant patents to all OpenDocument implementations except when an
adversary attempts to attack OpenDocument with their own patents.
You asked if I had suggestions. Please don't take this as a troll, and
this probably isn't what Sun wants, but my suggestion would have been to
simply use the GPL. The GPL has some big advantages. Bob Young of Red Hat
pointed one out in particular in a recent interview: the GPL is well
understood. If you license your product under the GPL and then attempt to
deploy it in a corporation, or perhaps ask the community for
participation, everyone knows that you aren't trying to sneak anything
through the back door.
In fact, it's the very reason that licenses are *hard* to understand and
interpret that makes it a big problem. Sun may have not been an abuser in
the past, but plenty of people have been burned by the phrase 'trust me'.
An HP exec publically called for the CDDL to be deprecated and replaced
with the GPL:
>> "Instead of sniping from the outlands of participation in the open
>> source community it'd be real nice to see HP try and take a run at
>> dislodging Sun from the number one slot as contributor of code among
>> commercial companies. If that were to happen, perhaps Mr. Fink would
>> realize that there isn't one hammer for all nails and not one license
>> for all projects," Sun representative Russ Castronovosaid in a
Sun's behavior has been adversarial and confusing. Sun refuses to fully
open Java, and then it created the CDDL, half-opened Solaris and started
acting as if it were in the same open source league, license-wise, as
Linux. I don't think anything could be further from the truth. Linux is
an ideal example of the GPL working at its best. The code copyrights are
owned by whomever submitted the code, and since it's all submitted under
the GPL, it can never be taken away.
So if you don't have inherent trust for Sun, what obvious reasons might
Sun have for creating the CDDL? Either they didn't want anyone to be able
to mix Solaris code into Linux, or they wanted extra control over what
happens to Solaris in the "open" world, or perhaps even both. It doesn't
seem genuine, it doesn't read to me like real open source, and I don't
to post comments)