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Re: [OT] OSI Vs Food on the Table?



On 07/04/06, Craig White <craigwhite azapple com> wrote:
On Thu, 2006-04-06 at 21:12 -0500, Mike McCarty wrote:
> Ali Helmy wrote:
> > Hey mates,
> >
> > I know this may be a little bit off-topic, but since I am just getting into
> > the world of Open Source Software (OSS) and after many, many hours of
> > reading different licenses listed on the Open Source Initiative (OSI), I
> > have really two questions to ask:
>
> I hope you don't inadvertently start a flame war :-)
>
> > A) How DO you pick which license to use for your software... I mean they all
> > seem very close to each other, so personally, I'd rather use the Sun PL, or
> > the Mozilla PL, or the GNU General PL... but... what should make me decide?
>
> Mostly, it depends on *you*, and what you intend for your software, and
> who your target audience is. Only after you have identified this can
> you start to make decisions. For me, all my software is either owned
> by someone else, or I retain all rights, or I place it into the Public
> Domain. I don't like any of the FSF stuff, so I don't use any of it.
> The closest of the "open source type" licenses to one I would use is
> the BSD style.
>
> > B) For those companies backing-up the OSI and distributing code under the
> > public licenses... How does that work for a Software Company? I mean if I
> > develop Software that I would like to share the Source Code with the rest of
> > the world with so that they can understand it, learn from it, and tell me if
> > there is something wrong, but still have to buy the software from me, and
> > not just copy+compile it into their own apps, how does that work? I mean, I
> > DO like the OSI, but even though that might make me popular with the lads,
> > it won't provide food on my table...
>
> Well, someone here I'm sure will recommend the LGPL for that sort of
> thing. But there is a lot of controversy, argumentation, and dispute
> over exactly what the LGPL actually means.
>
> The questions you have asked are not easily answered by other people.
> Only you can know what your goals are, and how best to achieve them.
> After you know your own goals, then you can see if a license already
> exists which helps you achieve them. Given what you have written,
> I suspect that there is no existing license which exactly meets your
> needs and is generally considered "open".
----
I would probably agree that a BSD type license is best if you actually
wish to package and sell the software but consider that if it is GPL,
more people are likely to contribute to the code base and either way,
you probably have to consider the issue of getting people to release
any/all claims they may ever want to make for their code contributions.
A GPL type license ensures that your code doesn't make it into someone
else's program without benefit of your getting their code while a BSD
license sort of allows them to use your code with fewer restrictions.

This probably involves a lot more study than just off the cuff opinions
on a list like this. I would probably ask some software developer doing
something relatively similar so you can get their perspective on
licensing.

Craig

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Hey mates,

Thanks for the heads up, and after some thorough reading, and chatting with some developers I think I will be using the GNU GPL for development of code that I want to spread, and probably the GNU LGPL for commercial bits...

Thanks for the info  ideas

--
Cheers,
     A. Helmy
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