Choosing a free software license
Posted May 24, 2007 10:07 UTC (Thu) by NRArnot
In reply to: Choosing a free software license
Parent article: A day at the Open Source Business Conference
> "I agree that all standards of communication, such as Vorbis, ODF, and TCP/IP should be under permissive licenses that allow them to be implemented as widely as possible"
This plays right into the hands of those who would "embrace, extend and extinguish". Or those who would insert a "poison pill" (a non-free technology) into an open standard (Rambus's ambush of the JEDEC memory hardware standards springs to mind, though ultimately Rambus failed).
If not the GPL, at the minimum one needs a license that makes sure that the license dies the moment that an implementation of an open standard is extended in an incompatible way. I don't actually know of any license that aims at BSD-openness but also makes sure that a standard (for a communication protocol, in the widest possible sense) is maintained as a single open standard rather than fragmented into mutually incompatible, proprietary, patent-encumbered variants. Is it possible?
If not, the GPL is best - it forces those who use and distribute the original code to give back their code and (GPL V3) patent licenses, but unless there is a way to force them to give back as a minimum full disclosure of their modified protocols and patent licenses to use the same, GPL V3 will have to suffice.
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