Is this a blunder, or just too subtle for me?
Posted Jul 26, 2007 4:18 UTC (Thu) by rickmoen
Parent article: SugarCRM goes to GPLv3
I may be missing something, here, so I'm phrasing this in the form of a question or two, and it's not rhetorical: Didn't FSF bow to pressure from sundry interest groups and remove the "ASP loophole" language that had been present in some GPLv3 drafts? Therefore, what in Sam Hill is a Software as a Service (Saas) / ASP / Web 2.0 firm doing adopting a copyleft language whose copyleft language gets finessed by hosted deployment?
FYI, there are a number of genuinely open source licences, a couple of them OSI certified, that do apply copyleft obligations to the ASP industry. One of the best is Larry Rosen's OSL, and there is also Apple's ASPL, both of those being OSI-certified. Non-certified options include Affero GPL (newly reissued as a patch to GPLv3, by the way) and Honest Public License.
On the basis of recent history, it's possible that SugarCRM not only lacks any clever, non-obvious reason why it picked a non-ASP copyleft licence for ASP code, but also doesn't really have any idea what it's doing in this area, and picked GPLv3 just because it has had good press (good press that it generally deserved, IMVAO). Remember, this is the firm that created the first MPL-based ASP licence, and then acted shocked and indignant when it belatedly discovered that its licence permitted forking (when TigerCRM of Chennai forked the codebase), and overreacted by writing what became the prototype MPL + Exhibit B "badgeware" licence that impairs third-party usage through mandated logo advertising without a trademark licence.
It'd be more reassuring if I thought this firm had a master plan, but I now rather strongly suspect it's just a bunch of sales people in an office in Cupertino, staggering from one inadvertant move to the next.
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