Microsoft, OSI Discuss Shared Source Licenses
October 24, 2005 Leave a comment
It seems that Microsoft is talking to the OSI about licensing. Now, I know that license proliferation is a very real problem, but I think Microsoft having a bona-fide OSI approved Open Source license that they are willing to consistantly use is probably a good thing. It would be ideal if they felt comfortable with one of the current ones, of course, but that may not be the case. Considering one of the main mantras of Open Source is that choice is good, I never understood the “GPL is the one true way” mentality. The Red Hat rep rails Microsoft for not using th GPL, but then goes on to say that out of 800 RHEL 4 source packages, only 400 are under the GPL. The OSI is still working on the proliferation issue, but surely “no new license under any circumstance” isn't a stance I can see them taking (for good reason). IMHO, if choice is good then the ability to choice from a variety of bona-fide Open Source licenses is good too. The obvious downside is that code licensed under one license can't be used in code licensed under another. That is a huge downside and one of the main reasons that proliferation is a problem at all. Like most things that are worth while though, this is a balancing act and is going to take some work to get right. Danese Cooper and Tim O'Reilly weigh in on the issue.
OSI, Open Source, Microsoft, GPL, Red Hat